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PM NewsBrief: Nov. 4, 2022

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This is the KGOU PM NewsBrief for Friday, Nov. 4, 2022.

Propositions on the general election ballot

Statewide elections are sure to get more headlines, but local races for propositions are important, too.

Local propositions are big and small.

Voters who live inside the Oklahoma City Public Schools’ district will have a chance to approve a nearly $1 billion bond.

It would pay for some big projects: five new schools, a new multisport stadium and a bevy of renovations across the district. It would raise local property taxes by $8 per $1,000 of assessed value.

In Hochatown, a community of fewer than 300 in the far southeastern part of the state that’s become a popular tourist destination, residents will decide if they want to incorporate. That would allow them to levy taxes to fund local public safety infrastructure and personnel like police and firefighters.

Choctaw Nation early voting

Oklahomans have begun early voting across the state. Leaders in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma are going the extra mile to make sure folks make it to the polls.

Sara Jane Smallwood is a Choctaw citizen who works in the tribal nation's governmental relations department. She's also an election official in Latimer County in Southeast Oklahoma.

Smallwood says Choctaw Nation has been focused on getting people registered to vote, educating them on who's running for office and making sure they get to the polls to cast their ballots early.

"So we'll be providing shuttles on Thursday and Friday, going from the community centers to get our elders to the polls and also from some of our largest office buildings and clinics and casinos to bus our employees to go vote as well."

Smallwood says voters in southeast Oklahoma are really tuned into the governor's race.

Richard Glossip stay of execution extended

A stay of execution has been extended for death row inmate Richard Glossip.

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed an executive order on Thursday extending Richard Glossip’s stay of execution to allow for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to address claims of innocence and prosecutorial misconduct.

This follows the discovery of new evidence which calls into question Glossip’s involvement in the 1997 killing of motel owner Barry Van Treese.

Glossip was found guilty after Justin Sneed claimed he was hired by Glossip to kill Van Treese, but an independent law firm recently found letters suggesting Sneed wanted to recant that statement.

The new execution date is Feb. 16, 2023.

Two more tribal nations back Hofmeister

Two more tribal nations have thrown their support behind Democratic candidate Joy Hofmeister.

The Osage Nation and The Kiowa Tribe both sent out a release saying they think the Superintendent is qualified and will be able to work with the 39 tribes in the state.

Osage Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear said the tribal nation made their first donation to Hofmeister's campaign in December of 2021. Kiowa Tribal Chairman Lawrence SpottedBird believes she respects tribal sovereignty of tribal nations throughout the state.

Early voting continues today across Oklahoma. You can learn more about races on your ballot by visiting our online Voter Guide.

District Attorney on the general election ballot

District Attorneys are the top law enforcement officials in their local county or district. One of their most important duties is prosecuting criminal cases. On November 8th, the race to replace Oklahoma County District Attorney is on.

The race is between Republican Kevin Calvey and Democrat Vicki Behenna. Calvey, a county commissioner, is currently being investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation following accusations by a county employee of using public money for campaigns.

A Calvey campaign spokesman told The Oklahoman that the investigation is a “thinly-veiled hatchet job” by current DA David Prater who asked the OSBI to investigate.

Vicki Behenna is a former federal prosecutor who worked on the prosecution of the Oklahoma City bombing and for the Oklahoma Innocence Project. Both candidates were part of a debate in mid-October where they found common ground on marijuana decriminalization - but sparred over ethics, competence and prosecuting police who are accused of excessive force.

A Late September poll showed the race in a statistical tie. The winner will take over for Prater who plans to retire in 2023.

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