ENID, Okla. — Enid City Commissioner David Mason is running for state Senate, his campaign announced Wednesday.
An Enid resident, retired businessman, husband and father, Mason is new to politics aside from his time as Ward 6 commissioner, a seat he's filled since May.
“Oklahoma has renewed itself and the turnaround has begun. I believe my business experience throughout Northwest Oklahoma, the relationships I have developed in these communities and raising my children will bring a breath of fresh air to the Oklahoma state Capitol.” Mason said. “After thoughtful consideration, discussions with family, friends, I felt a calling to serve not only the community in which I live, but the entire district and state.”
Mason is making a bid for state Senate District 19, an office which represents all of of Garfield, Grant and Alfalfa counties and a portion of Kay County.
"I am dedicated to continue helping to improve the quality of life for all Oklahomans," Mason said, promising to focus on education, health care and mental health, infrastructure, and establishing a "pro-business climate by examining de-regulation."
If he wins, he'll be bringing ideas, experience and qualities to the office that have been missing, he said, including a better understanding of industry and of education.
Mason retired in 2017 as vice president of Dillingham Insurance Group, but prior to a career in insurance, Mason spent 12 years teaching. His dual backgrounds make him especially well equipped to work at the Capitol, he said.
"Until you've been in that classroom, until you've had to deal with those situations, I don't think you can fully understand," Mason said, adding there's a lot of work left to fix education in Oklahoma, and it will take more than a teacher pay raise or two.
"You don't get to be number 48 in that nation just because of pay," he said, and though steps are being made in the right direction, there's no justification for self-congratulations.
"Don't stand up at the Capitol and pound your chest about how great we're doing in education, because we're not there yet," he said.
District 19 is currently represented by Sen. Roland Pederson, since his 2016 win with 68% of the vote. In October, Pederson announced he would be running again in 2020 to keep his Senate seat.
"We need someone that represents Northwest Oklahoma who doesn't live from election to election," Mason said. "I think doing OK is not OK anymore."