A Claremore native competing for the Republican nomination in the state’s 2nd Congressional District race identified taxes, the size of government and military spending as his top campaign issues.
Dakota Wood, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, said the tax code needs certainty and simplicity and the government needs to be reined in before businesses can thrive.
The complexity of the federal tax code and burdensome regulations “create winners and losers” within the market, he said. Wood, who said he favors a “fair tax or flat tax program,” declared that “businesses cannot plan for the long term and create jobs” when there is uncertainty with the tax code.
Wood cited environmental regulations and laws passed after corporate scandals such as the failure of Enron Corp. as examples of what he believes stymies business development. He criticized the Obama administration for using the Environmental Protection Agency to promote sustainable energy projects and cater to “green energy donors.”
“We need smaller, smarter government that will not stand in the way of progress and not use its power to determine who will succeed and who will fail,” said Wood, who favors the abolition of the EPA. “This should be left to the market to determine.”
Wood, who spent the past few years as a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, cited his involvement in a plan to cut an outdated $14 billion program from the defense budget as an example of the leadership he would bring to Congress. He said the scarcity of funds will make it hard to rebuild “our defense forces after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
“Equipment for all the services has prematurely aged due to the demands of current operations,” Wood said. “This situation will only get worse as Congress and the Department of Defense attempt to implement additional cuts of nearly $1 trillion over the next decade.”
Wood said he would work with the Defense Department to streamline processes to reduce costs and “make sure our resources are being spent where they need to be spent.” Citing his education and military career, Wood said he is “the only candidate in this race with” a comparable “record of service and accomplishment.”
Wood faces five other Republicans in the June 26 primary election: state Rep. George Faught of Muskogee, Westville businessman Markwayne Mullin, former state Rep. Wayne Pettigrew of McAlester, Tishomingo lawyer Dustin Rowe and Muskogee pastor Dwayne Thompson. With a field of six candidates, a runoff election Aug. 28 to select the GOP nominee is likely.
Federal Election Commission records through March 31 show Wood has raised $98,520 from 78 individual donors. He has contributed no money of his own and has reported no donations from political action committees.
At the end of the first quarter this year, Wood’s campaign reported expenditures of $42,366, with $42,843 cash on hand and no debts. Candidates are to file their second-quarter reports by July 15.
The Republican nominee will face one of three Democrats jockeying for that party’s nomination and an independent in the general election Nov. 6. The Democrats are Earl E. Everett of Fort Gibson, Muskogee businessman Wayne Herriman and former state and federal prosecutor Rob Wallace of Fort Gibson. The independent is Michael G. Fulks of Heavener.
Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or email@example.com.
Meet Dakota Wood
OFFICE SOUGHT: Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District.
FAMILY: Wife, Dixie; three children, Aubrie, 17, Liam, 14, and Emm, 12.
OCCUPATION: Retired Marine Corps officer, former senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
EDUCATION: Claremore-Sequoyah High School, valedictorian; U.S. Naval Academy, bachelor’s degree in oceanography with minors in meteorology and general engineering; graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval War College, master of arts in national security and strategic studies; honors graduate of the Marine Corps’ School of Advanced Warfighting; and other military schools.
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Church of Christ.
HOBBIES: Reading, movie night with family, and marksmanship.
• June 20 — Last day to request absentee ballot for primary election.
• June 22 — Early voting, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• June 23 — Early voting, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• June 25 — Early voting, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• June 26 — Primary election.
• Aug. 28 — Runoff primary election.
• Nov. 6 — General election.