U.S. House candidate Jenner says student debt no laughing matter

June 07–Virginia Blue Jeans Jenner says she’s not clowning around in her latest bid for public office.

“I take it very seriously,” she said.

Jenner, of Wagoner, is on the ballot again, this time as a Democratic candidate in the upcoming June 26 Primary Election for the District 2 House seat currently held by Republican incumbent Markwayne Mullin of Westville. She is vying with three of her fellow Democrats for the right to become the party’s nominee for the office.

With Mullin among the four candidates running for the Republican nomination, and an Independent and Libertarian candidate also seeking the office, Jenner noted she is the only woman on the Primary Election ballot in the 10-candidate field.

A Primary Election Runoff is set for Aug. 28, if a runoff is needed. The Democratic and Republican nominees, along with the Independent and Libertarian candidates, will then face each other in the Nov. 6 General Election.

Jenner has previously been a candidate for a number of public offices, including the office of U. S. senator, Oklahoma labor commissioner, the Tulsa mayor’s post and the District 12 State House seat. She ran in the Democratic Primary Election for the governor’s office in 1986, coming in fourth in a five-candidate field.

Her previous unsuccessful runs for public offices have not thwarted her enthusiasm for her current run for the District 2 U.S. House seat.

“We’ve had 111 years as a state and we’ve only had two women in Congress,” Jenner said of Oklahoma.

One, of course, is current Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who represented District 5 U.S. in the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011. The other is Alice Mary Robertson, who served in the District 2 U.S. House of Representatives from 1921-1923. In addition to being the first woman from Oklahoma to serve in Congress, Robertson was only the second woman to serve in Congress in the entire United States.

Jenner hopes to become Oklahoma’s third Congressional female representative.

“We girls are 50 percent of the population. I think it’s time to send some moms and grandmas. I want to open doors so they can see women can do this. It should be open to more than the wives of Congressmen who have died in midterm,” she said.

“I decided it was time for a Yellow Dog to run,” Jenner said, using the colorful political expression to identify someone who would vote for a “yellow dog” before voting for a non-Democratic candidate.

Is she concerned that she may not be taken seriously since she’s campaigning in a full clown costume?

“The men are a bunch of clowns,” said Jenner. She recalled how a fellow Democrat against whom she once ran had indicated she would become part of his administration if he won — something she did not find forthcoming after she lost.

“There was nothing — zero,” Jenner said, which is exactly what she thinks students should have to pay to attend college in Oklahoma. She spoke of the matter when asked the defining issue of her campaign.

“Free college” said Jenner. “Our tax dollars pay for our public schools,” she said — so why not pay for a college education as well? She said it’s disgusting knowing how some people are making money off students pursuing higher education.

How would she pay for free college?

“Tax Wall Street — Bernie was right, she said, referring to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who was an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. presidency during the 2016 election utilizing that slogan.

“We really need a blue-collar worker like me, who will fight for free college,” said Jenner, a former dental hygienist. Not only does Jenner want free college for current and future students, she said the nation should go further and forgive existing college debt.

“If we can forgive Third World countries of billions of dollars of debt, why not education? Knowledge should be free,” Jenner said.

That led her into another subject — the difficulty many Americans have trying to live on Social Security.

“Social Security is not enough,” Jenner said. “I want everybody on Social Security to have a $200 raise.” She also does not agree with the cap on paying into Social Security, which is currently set at $128,400 annually, even though, as Jenner put it, many who are capped out “are making tons of money.”

Jenner is not deterred that the boundaries of U.S. District 2 are drawn so that Wagoner is outside District 2 — it’s in District 1 — since federal law mandates only that Congressional candidates live in the same state as the district. She said she’s lived in Wagoner for 30 years.

“I represent the people who are poor — I’m poor,” Jenner said.

“If I should win, the people will have an advocate.”

So how is the clown costume working out as a campaign ploy? Jenner said the goal is to put a smile on peoples’ faces.

Does she ever run into anyone who has a fear of clowns?

“There was a girl the other day who wouldn’t look at me,” she said. “Most people run up and want to give me a hug.”

This article provided by NewsEdge.