Poteau Teacher Plans To Run For State Representative

POTEAU (KFSM)- A Poteau High School teacher is taking his own stand during the teacher walkout and plans to announce his candidacy for state representative in the coming weeks.

"It's time to change and get new people in there," Tom Brennan said.

Brennan is a history teacher and said after everything that has transpired during the teacher walkout, he has decided to add his name to the next election ballot.

"Three quarters of the legislature are supposed to run unopposed," Brennan said. "We`re working to bring about change every day in Oklahoma City, but so long as they run unopposed, so long as there`s nobody challenging them, then this problem might have a band-aid solution, but we`re not going to solve it."

Brennan said it's time for a change and it goes much deeper than just education issues.

"They have gotten us into a position these last ten years where they have cut funding the government, tax cuts and you can see schools can`t function and social services and corrections and highway patrol. They`ve cut and cut and cut."

Many people in the community now hearing the history teacher's plans to challenge state leaders on election day and they support him.

"If anyone is qualified to do it, Tom is." Greg Wilson, geography teacher said. "He will support and that`s what we need at this level right now. At our level, other interests seem to be more important right now."

"I think he`s gonna listen to people and that`s our key thing right now is listening to people and right now I don`t feel like we`re being heard," Brenda Hebert, math teacher said. "I`m very disappointed in what`s going on right now with our current legislature, especially our current representatives."

Brennan said what he's experienced at the state capitol is unlike any other and he urges educators to keep that spark as they continue fighting for change.

"My hope is that whatever the resolution is to our current problem, that we not lose that energy," Brennan said. "We have to stay engaged in November. It doesn`t end here in April."

Brennan said he's received great response from the community about his possible candidacy for the seat.

After he files for the spot, Brennan will run against the current state representative for District 3, Republican, Rick West.