E. Bruce Bushong announces he is running for Oklahoma State House District 26. “I come to this as a 13-year teacher. I never thought I would leave the classroom but then I roamed the State Capitol for a week talking to legislators during the teachers’ walkout. The lack of leadership and responsibility convinced me that I should run for the legislature. I am willing to fight for what the citizens of Shawnee want from our State. The way the Republicans have dismantled the government of Oklahoma is a disgrace. Many are even trying to dismantle our education system. I’m not going to let that happen,” Bushong said.

“Children are my passion. After losing my two teenaged sons, Blake and Colin in a terrible car crash in Dallas, I moved home in 2004 to find my new passion. It became teaching,” Bushong said.

Hard work has always been Bushong’s hallmark, from helping to build the house he grew up in Shawnee, to earning an Accounting degree and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He combined these two degrees into a tax law practice and gained unique experiences in the field of taxation..

Bushong knows that his legal, accounting, financial, and economics training make him a highly qualified candidate. But Bushong believes his mediation experience will help the most with being an effective State Representative. “We need leadership that is willing to sit down with all sides of an issue and find common ground that will move our State forward. And we need someone with the skill set to push it across the finish line.” He said.

Bushong’s top priority is fixing our damaged public educational system. “A quality public education should be given to each of our children. A proper education will help us solve our high incarceration and poverty rates. Education needs adequate funding that is both dependable and permanent.” Bushong said.

With this in mind, Bushong supports banning the sale of assault style weapons. “We will never be able to provide a quality education to students who are constantly and fearfully looking over their shoulders because they are afraid of a gunman bringing a weapon of war into their classroom. This year alone we have had 22 shootings in our public schools. This has to stop.”

Bushong understands the importance of helping those that need our help the most. Oklahoma has significant mental health, opioid and other addiction problems. “I have a great understanding and sympathy for people with these issues. After the loss of my sons I struggled with alcohol. But with family and faith I got through it. As long as we learn from our mistakes we can change and move forward. It’s all about asking for and having access to help.”

Bushong and his wife, Terry, were married in 2005. The high school sweethearts rekindled their relationship when Bushong moved back to Shawnee. Amongst them they have four children and three grandchildren. Bushong teaches Freshman English and Creative Writing at Shawnee High School.

Note: This is a submitted candidate announcement. Candidates for 2018 can submit announcements (no more than 500 words) by emailing them before May 28 to: kimberly.morava@news-star.com. Pictures can be included.