After running successful campaigns nation and state-wide, Matt Pinnell, republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, returns to Oklahoma with one goal in mind.
Pinnell has logged several years as a campaign manager for the GOP and has spent time running campaign trails in all 50 states for the party.
Previously, Pinnell was the chairman of the Oklahoma GOP for the 2010 and 2012 election cycles and helped Oklahoma republicans get the majority in both the house and state senate.
Pinell hopes to take over for Todd Lamb, who was elected in 2011 as the second republican to be named Lieutenant Governor and is now terming out after two stints in the office.
As Pinnell traveled across the state, he was asked frequently about what exactly it is that a Lieutenant Governor does.
“There are a number of things that the Lieutenant Governor does that I think [have] a big impact on the state moving forward,” Pinnell said. “First off, they are the president of the state senate, so whoever [is] the next governor is certainly going to look to his lieutenant as someone who can navigate legislation through the legislation process.”
Along with helping with legislation, Pinnell said that the position can also be a sales and marketing position in the state and is looking utilize this function as Lieutenant Governor to help market the state of Oklahoma itself.
Pinnell believes that he has that skill set, as his family owns a small business centered around an invention that his wife created — a “Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock.”
Pinnell said not only will he help Duncan diversify their economy by using economic development groups, but also all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties.
“Again, I think a lot of it is going into communities— and we have 77 counties, which I certainly recognize that,” Pinnell said. “We have got to do a better job with that and if we help them (companies) hire one more person, it can create a domino effect.”
As he traveled throughout all 50 states, Pinnell received feedback from citizens regarding their thoughts about the state of Oklahoma as a whole.
Overall, Pinnell took away that the feedback wasn’t positive at times and citizens didn’t understand Oklahoma’s “theme.”
“I have four kinds in the Jenks Public School system and I want my kids to be proud of this state and I want them to grow up in the state and I want them to choose to stay here and raise their own families here,” Pinnell said. “They are not going to be able to do that if they are not proud of this state and there are no jobs here and that has certainly driven me. If no one knows anything about this state, they are not going to get off our roads and bridges to spend money—tourism dollars in the state.”
As part of his week in Duncan, Pinnell will attend the Duncan Chapter of Rotary International at 12 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Simmons Center as the guest speaker.
Pinnell will also be the keynote speaker at the Stephens County GOP meeting Thursday evening at the Red River Technology Center.