Wayne Shaw is running for a state senate seat in District 3 on the Republican ticket.
District 3 covers Chouteau and Locust Grove along with the southeastern tip of Rogers County, the eastern half of Cherokee County, the eastern half of Delaware County and all of Adair County. Sen. Jim Wilson is leaving the office due to term limits.
Shaw is the pastor of First Christian Church in Grove and has a degree in math and history. He spent two and a half years as a missionary in the west African nation of Liberia.
“If you told me probably even as little as a year and a half ago I would be doing this, I’d say you were nuts,” Shaw said. “I’ve always said you need good people to do this. It’s never been on my radar, it’s never something we’d thought about, but we need good people to do this and I thought well, we need to do this. If I’m going to do it I’m going to do it now.”
Shaw says he is not running with a personal agenda to accomplish certain things. He admits he is new to this process.
On taxes Shaw says cutting taxes encourages industry. “Basically, I’m in favor of tax cuts. I think you have to be careful about making blanket statements, every time a tax cut comes up, that’s what you vote for,” Shaw said. He said he is in favor of building the economy to offset the need for tax revenues.
“I realize you have got to support the infrastructure, you’ve got to support education. In my mind, you cut wasteful spending where ever you find it,” Shaw said.
Shaw intends to vote yes on state question 766 that would keep intangibles such patents, trademarks, brand names, franchises, contracts, mineral interests and proprietary computer software from being taxed.
Shaw said District 3 is poor, but some of the problems are a part of the solution. “You’ve got a work force that’s available, they need jobs. You’ve got land that’s inexpensive, comparatively speaking. You’ve got 412, a great highway running right through it. You’ve got the tech centers that do a great job. So you have a potential for industry. Right across the border in Fort Smith, Ark., it has really developed in the last several years. That can happen here,” Shaw said.
“My opponent says we have to fully fund education,” Shaw said. “ I’m not sure what that means, because it doesn’t matter how much you put into it, they are going to say they need more. But I think it needs to be adequately funded. We have to start thinking out of the box.” He mentioned mentoring programs, using senior citizens to encourage learning in students. He said he has a teacher friend who has seen this work. “Things have changed since I went to school.” Due to the breakdown of the family, students need mentoring more than in the past, he said. He thinks Charter Schools are a great idea in Tulsa or Oklahoma City but in rural towns in District 3 that is probably not an option.
On the Obamacare health care exchanges between the state and federal government, Shaw takes a “wait and see” attitude. Earlier this year, the legislature wrangled over setting up health care exchanges with the federal government. Shaw said he was concerned about the Health and Human Services mandate in Obamacare requiring religious organizations to offer contraceptive and abortion coverage to their employees through their insurance. “The Catholic Church may be faced with the whole idea of shutting them (hospitals) down, which I think would be tragic.”
Catholic institutions have been joined by Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville and Hobby Lobby stores in suing the federal government over this mandate.
Shaw said his lack of political experience and ambition beyond the state senate is an advantage. “I think we need people who care and have a moral compass to do what is right,” Shaw said. “I’m going to look at everything with fresh eyes. I’m not going to please everybody. God can’t do that. A man’s a fool to try and do what God can’t do.”