The two women running for governor had their first debate Tuesday night at the University of Central Oklahoma. But before each announced their run for governor, Mary Fallin and Jari Askins participated in an oral history project for Oklahoma State University. The project, Women of the Oklahoma Legislature, is here.
The purpose of the Women of the Oklahoma Legislature Oral History Project is to gather and preserve memories and historical documents of women who have served or are currently serving in the Oklahoma Legislature.
As former state legislators, both Fallin and Askins sat down with OSU librarian and associate professor Dr. Tanya Finchum in 2008. Below are links to the transcripts of their interviews:
Although they’re both still somewhat guarded, the interviews offer a rare glimpse of each candidate before they got into “campaign mode.” Finchum closes each interview by asking each woman how she thinks history will remember her. Here’s Fallin’s response:
When history’s written about me, I would like history to remember me as a woman who truly cared about her state and worked very hard on her state’s behalf.
Here’s Askins’ response to the same question:
You know I hope it says that no matter what position I was in, that I was fair. I’m smart enough to know that you’re never always right. But if people know that you’re fair and you make your decisions based on all the information that you had available at the time, I think that’s a reasonable request. I had constituents when I was a legislator who I knew did not agree with every vote I cast. But most of them, when we talk about it, understood and believed that I voted the way I did based on the information I had at the time. And I hope that those decisions are based on what is fair and good for the state of Oklahoma regardless of where you live, regardless of what your income is. I hope that I am helping people understand that they have opportunity and that we help provide opportunity for Oklahoma’s oldest and youngest citizens. And that’s what I like about public service.
For more information on the two candidates, check out these profiles written by my colleague Ken Raymond:
Written by Paul Monies