On Friday, April 20, 2012, many individuals from the community gathered together at a benefit pie auction and political speaking that was put on by The Foxy Friends Pushmataha County Relay For Life Team.
The goals for the evening were to raise hoards of cash for the American Cancer Society and to allow voters a chance to get to know more about the candidates who are running for Pushmataha County Sheriff. Both were accomplished as each candidate that is running spoke and over $2000 was raised for Relay For Life.
The evening kicked off at 6:00 p.m. with the musical styling’s of The Scramble Band, out of Rattan, and a free beans and cornbread dinner. Band members included Mike Wall, Ed Butler, Frank Duncan and Mike Green.
As the clocked ticked closer to 7:00 p.m., it was time to get the pie auction underway. After a few of the desserts were sold, it was time for on of the Candidates to take the microphone and address the crowd. First up was candidate Dan Breshears. Breshears was born and raised in Pushmataha County and stressed that communication was the key to any successful department. A few of the points he covered was that he intended to have an open door policy with the public and that if he was elected Sheriff, his department would prevail through the use of common sense.
In-between candidates speaking, more pies, cakes and brownies were auctioned off, a few for over $100.00. The next candidate that was drawn to speak, the name in the hat method, was active Deputy John Arthur. Arthur started off with stating that he has been in law enforcement since 1998 (14 years), has 715 hours of CLEET, 65 different certificates and proudly served in the United States Navy for 4 years. He said if elected Sheriff his department would provide the best service to the community that they could with the funds they had available. He said it isn’t an excuse, it is a crucial fact that law enforcement officers and departments have to deal with everyday (budget) and that the citizens had a right to the best service they were capable of providing.
Taking the stage after Arthur was candidate Keith Mack. Mack stated that he has 10 years of Law Enforcement experience and would promise to treat the residents of Pushmataha County right. He stated that if elected Sheriff he would do the best job he could do and would take care of the members of the community.
Candidate Calvin Smith followed Mack. Smith started off by welcoming everyone to the event and stating that he is CLEET certified but he would need to spend a few weeks updating his training. Smith said that he has worked as a Pushmataha County Commissioner, at the Antlers Police Department, and that all of his experience would help him to better serve the people of Pushmataha County. He will promote efficient, prompt and good service and would place Deputies in the north end of the county.
Next up was Candidate Terry Duncan. Duncan started out saying that he would stick to the motto of law enforcement, Protect and Serve. He believes that every call should be answered promptly and professionally. Duncan has 16 years of experience as a lawyer and owned his own archery shop for 14 years. His goal if elected Sheriff is to make the Sheriff’s Department have a more visible presence by placing a Deputy in every community that has a school, whether that deputy is a full time officer or a reserve deputy.
Last but not least was Candidate Ryan Mitchell. Mitchell has lived in the Clayton community since 2001. He stated that he is running because he can see what is hurting the kids and the elderly. The Sheriff’s Department needs to answer every call, no matter where it is coming from or what it is about, because all calls are important and the residents are calling for a reason.
Closing the evening was Pushmataha County Sheriff Jimmy Duncan. He made a point to stress that in the end it doesn’t matter which one of the candidates you vote for as long as you are voting for the one you believe in and are exercising your right to vote. If we don’t exercise that constitutional right, it might not be there to use down the road.