by Patrick B. McGuigan
State Rep. Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, is nearing the end of her second session in the House of Representatives, serving District 88.
As she seeks to take a step up in the Legislature, she is opposed by Wilfredo Santos Rivera, who served one term (2006-2010) on the Oklahoma City Public School Baord.
After an impactful two years as a novice legislator from the minority party, Floyd filed in April for the state Senate District 46 seat, which fellow Democrat Al McAffrey is vacating.
In an interview with The City Sentinel, Rep. Floyd said her most gratifying legislative achievement is “to have authored bills that help victims of domestic violence in our state.”
On the day Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a plethora of state House bills, Floyd’s historic legislation was “one of the few that made it off the Governor’s desk.”
A former local judge, Floyd described as deeply gratifying her work to put “measures in place that will help these victims.”
Floyd is known both for her progressive policy agenda and an ability to work effectively with members of the legislative majority on issues like domestic violence. She told The City Sentinel, “I am also working on legislation to put measures in place in public schools for suicide prevention. My goal is to make sure that all Oklahomans are protected under the law, especially women and children.”
Rep. Floyd participated in a signing ceremony for one of her measures at the state Capitol Blue Room last week, a bipartisan gathering. She and several law enforcement officers, as well as Jan Peery of the YWCA, briefed reporters on the impact of legislation to counter the state’s high rates of domestic violence.
Making a case for her Senate nomination in the June 24 primary, Floyd said, “I believe I have been very effective in the House of Representatives working with colleagues from both parties to navigate legislation to the Governor’s desk.
“I have visited all 18 schools in my district and have had extensive conversations with the teachers, parents, administrators and students and have listened as they told what we need to do to make sure that future generations of Oklahomans can thrive.
“I’ve always worked hard for the people in my House District and will do the same in the State Senate.”
Santos Rivera told The City Sentinel, in an email exchange, his top three issues were “economic development, health, and education.”
He asserted Rep. Floyd “expects to do business as usual in the Senate, like she did in the House. Not a very productive two years – her being in the minority didn’t help.”
Santos Rivera said he has presented ideas “to the voters” which have “been well received. I have listened to their concerns on both the South and North side. I have lived in both sides of the city for approximately the same number of years.”
Rivera concluded, “Education is my key issue. I’m a lifelong educator and human rights advocate, which includes equity issues. Win or lose, I’m working for the community the next day. Bottom line: productive, creative and well educated labor is the basis of a future, healthy Oklahoma economy.”
No Republican filed for the District 46 seat, so the election will be decided in Tuesday’s primary.