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Terry Neese Is No Stranger To Government


August 15, 2019

Terry Neese

Pottawatomie and Seminole counties are "just as important as Oklahoma County" to the Fifth Congressional District, according to candidate Terry Neese.

Neese was in Shawnee and Tecumseh last Thursday, Aug. 8, for an appearance at the county Republican monthly meeting, and worked in visits with community leaders as well as an interview with the Countywide & Sun.

She left the county with an endorsement from Shawnee Mayor Richard Finley, who said in a press release that "There is no candidate in this race who is more equipped with the experience and leadership needed to take on Kendra Horn and stop the radical Left's destructive giveaways."

Neese, who describes herself as a conservative Republican, is one of several candidates hoping to take on first-term incumbent Kendra Horn, a Democrat who won a surprise victory over two-term Republican Congressman Steve Russell in 2018.

Although not a household name in Oklahoma politics, Neese, 71, is no stranger to government. In 1990, she became the first woman nominated for Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma. She lost that race but became something of an expert in job training and placement, testifying often before Congress.

Raised on a farm in Southwest Oklahoma, she founded Terry Neese Personnel Services (TNPS), National Grassroots Network, and the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). Neese is the former president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

Neese has been appointed to numerous councils and positions with nominations by prominent leaders, such as presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. She has traveled to six foreign countries to work with women who aspire to independence and business ownership. She has received numerous awards for her work.

"I've been very engaged," she said. "I've started businesses around the globe, putting people to work, and provided jobs for 30,000-plus Oklahomans." She said that in 2006 "I got a call from the White house" asking her to help women n Afghanistan.

"I kinda became the voice of small business," she said. "It allowed me to have a voice" and led to her testifying before Congress.

Neese said "people started calling me in January" about running for the Fifth District seat. "I thought it was very early (the election in not until next year).

"The people need a representative who listens to the constituents and votes the way they want them to. It's important to have a conservative Republican."

She wants to hear from those constituents. "It's important to be here as often as I can be," she said. "I want to listen." She is setting up coalitions to help with that. The groups of veterans, small business people, senior citizens, women, young adults and faith workers have already begun to meet.

The minimum wage is a topic already coming up for discussion. "Small business owners can't pay $15 per hour," she said. "The government needs to stay out of it."

Neese is already working her contacts for financial and other help. In addition to Finley, she has earned endorsements from Barry Switzer, Harold Hamm and Carly Fiorina.

"Terry is a proven conservative and successful job creator who has devoted her entire life and career to helping tens of thousands of men and women succeed," said Finley. "There is no candidate in this race who is more equipped with the experience and leadership needed to take on Kendra Horn and stop the radical Left's destructive giveaways. I am proud to give Terry my full endorsement and I urge 5th District Republicans to join me in electing a results-oriented ally of our President who will deliver for Oklahomans." 

"I am proud to have the endorsement of Mayor Finley, a fierce defender of good governance and a tremendous advocate for Shawnee taxpayers," said Neese. "Like me, Mayor Finley has seen firsthand how big-government regulations and taxes cripple job growth, hurt our economy, and leave working families struggling to make ends meet."   

Terry Neese

Neese has also been in touch with Kathy McMorris Rogers, chairman of the Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives, to discuss committee appointments if her run is successful. Neese would prefer Small Business, Energy and Commerce and perhaps Foreign Relations. She feels she would be on a "fast track" with her knowledge.

"I certainly know how it works," she said. "I can hit the ground running."

But first, she has to win. Even though it's early, several other Republicans have announced their intentions to run for the seat. They include Michael Ballard of Tecumseh, State Senator Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma City, David Green of Harrah, and Marilyn VanSant of Guthrie. Former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, who ran for the seat in 2006, has been mentioned as a possible candidate but has made no announcement.


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