By Scott Fitzgerald

Staff Writer

The Oklahoma State Senate race in District 22 could be a tale of two areas of representation — areas that are metropolitan and those that are rural.

Challenger Tom Gibson, a Democrat from Yukon, is concerned about the lack of high paying jobs in Yukon and El Reno.

Incumbent Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher, said obtaining adequate water in Canadian County is a top priority.

Mike Johnson

Johnson, who owns the Johnson’s of Kingfisher auto dealership and whose son Rob is attempting to get re-elected in the House, said in much of his campaigning he is hearing lots about “illegal aliens” or those who have crossed the borders without full citizenship status.

“Overall, my constituents don’t want government services to be used for illegal aliens. They favor work visas,” Johnson said.

Johnson said during his past and current administrations, he has worked toward lawsuit reform, especially in the area of workers’ compensation.

“We’ve got to be at least competitive with other states,” Johnson said.

He serves on the appropriations subcommittee on natural resources, commerce, energy and environment, finance, general government and rules committees.

Tom Gibson

Gibson who is an attorney and has worked for the city of Oklahoma City, said he entered the race because Johnson ran unopposed in the last election.

“I think people deserve a choice. Basically, I don’t see much progress. Nothing is getting done. No money is coming to our district. I’ve got a legal background. I can get legislation passed,” Gibson said.

Gibson said he is particularly concerned about El Reno, a city contending with poverty issues such as high unemployment and lack of access to basic services.

Many people in Yukon commute to Oklahoma City, but the general labor market is changing from blue collar jobs to new types of services.

“I’d like to see where there is success in other states with this new labor transition and see if we could duplicate it,” Gibson said.

In 2005, Gibson exposed allegations of mortgage loan fraud concerning two Oklahoma title companies, a Yukon homebuilder, two mortgage companies and a mortgage loan broker.

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