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AM NewsBrief: Nov. 1, 2022

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This is the KGOU AM NewsBrief for Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022.

As polls tighten, Oklahoma Gov. Stitt to host rallies with big GOP names

As election day draws nearer, Gov. Kevin Stitt is raking in endorsements and bringing in some out-of-state Republicans to grow excitement for his re-election bid.

This week Stitt will welcome Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin for a pair of events billed as Red Wave Rallies in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

He also scored an endorsement from rising GOP star and firebrand Florida Governor Ron Desanstis.

The endorsements come amid what’s been called a “seven-figure” advertising buy from the Republican Governors Association.

Polling shows Stitt’s Democratic opponent Joy Hofmeister has made the race surprisingly close. The former Republican turned Democrat hasn’t gotten many endorsements from outside Oklahoma, but she has gotten support here including an historic endorsement from the state’s five largest tribes and the Tulsa World.

Oklahoma's Lieutenant Governor race

One of the less publicized races voters will decide next week is for Oklahoma’s Lieutenant Governor.

Incumbent Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell is seeking reelection for the second highest office in the executive branch. Pinnell came into office for his first term alongside Gov. Kevin Stitt in 2018. Pinnell is being challenged by Democrat Melinda Alizadeh-Fard, who has a law degree from Oklahoma City University and has worked as an immigration attorney, social worker, and administrative law judge. Also on the ballot is Libertarian Chris Powell, a former Marine Corps Reservist with combat experience during the first Gulf War. He previously served as chair of the Oklahoma Libertarian Party.

All three candidates for Lt. Governor will be facing voters for the first time this election cycle. The primaries for all three parties were canceled because the candidates were unchallenged for nomination.

You'll find more on this and several other races that will be on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot in our online Voter Guide.

Over 200 new state laws go in effect today

More than 200 new laws are going into effect today. They run the gamut from transparency efforts for Governor-appointed leaders in cabinet and state agency positions, increasing the penalties for catalytic converter theft - to several legal policy changes in the state’s medical marijuana industry.

These laws were the bills that made it through the last legislative session. Other popular issues that didn’t become law, but are likely to be revived by legislators, include private school vouchers and efforts to eliminate the grocery tax. More, similar and completely new bills will spring up when lawmakers reconvene in February.

Hunting, fishing licenses available for Chickasaw citizens

Hunting and fishing licenses are now available for Chickasaw citizens from the tribal nation.

The licenses are only valid within Chickasaw Nation reservation boundaries. Licenses from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation are still required to hunt and fish elsewhere in the state. Chickasaw citizens can obtain a reservation license by providing proof of tribal citizenship, a form of ID and proof of hunter safety certification.

Previously, the state allowed tribal nations to purchase Oklahoma hunting and fishing licenses for distribution to members. But Gov. Kevin Stitt ended those compacts with the Choctaw and Cherokee Nations prompting tribes to create their own programs.

University of Central Oklahoma president to resign

University of Central Oklahoma President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar announced she intends to resign from the school.

A university news release says resigning will allow her to move to Kansas City to be with her wife, who is president of the Kansas City Art Institute.

Neuhold-Ravikumar has been president of UCO since 2019 after working at the university since 2007.

She was UCO's first female president and will officially leave the school at the end of January.

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