Staff | May 6, 2019

Democrats trying to block Stitt’s nominees


In Washington, Democrats have stonewalled, filibustered, and endlessly delayed confirmation of President Trump’s nominees. What you may not know is Democrats are doing the same thing in Oklahoma to Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Stitt recently nominated Estela Hernandez and Jennifer Monies for the State Board of Education. Democrats are opposing them with Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City, leading the charge.

Hernandez is a small businesswoman who previously served as a commissioner on the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women and as a school board member.

Monies is senior director of public affairs for Saxum. She previously served in a press and policy advisory role for Speaker of the House Chris Benge, and most recently ran an education nonprofit, advocating for improvement in Oklahoma's PK-12 education system. She has served on the Community Advisory Board of her neighborhood elementary school and currently serves on the board of her son’s school.

In short, these are two accomplished, professional women who have devoted their time and efforts to improving education. Yet Democrats oppose them. Why?

In a statement, Hicks said she had “a fundamental disagreement with them on education policy and the direction of public education in Oklahoma.” Notably, Hicks did not suggest either Hernandez or Monies is in any way unqualified. Instead, she’s upset a Republican governor’s appointees are Republicans. Period.

Notably, Democrats voted in lockstep to block another Stitt nominee to the State Board of Education, Carlisha Williams Bradley, who is black. Bradley is also founder of Women Empowering Nations, which works to boost self-esteem for women of color.

In her statement of opposition, Hicks, who is white, claims she supports “adding diversity to state boards and agencies.” That’s rich coming in a statement in which Hicks opposes the appointment of two women, one a racial minority, to a board that has often been comprised mostly of white men, and coming after Hicks and fellow Democrats tried to block the appointment of a black woman.

And here’s the kicker: Hicks told The Oklahoman she “was aided in her decision by a set of criteria put together by Democratic lawmakers focused on education.” But then Hicks “declined to share the criteria with The Oklahoman.”

It’s a strange commitment to diversity that manifests itself through the blackballing of highly qualified women and minority nominees based on a set of super-secret criteria. The hypocrisy is as glaring as the partisanship.

Oklahomans didn’t elect Republican supermajorities to give far-left Democrats veto power over a Republican governor’s nominees. We’ll soon know if Republican lawmakers understand that political reality.


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