Democrat candidate for Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District, Jason Nichols, comes to Miami March 14 as part of a Town Hall tour that will run through July in the counties he is vying to represent.
MIAMI - Jason Nichols, a Democrat campaigning for U.S. Representative of Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District, is holding an Ottawa County Town Hall meeting Wednesday, March 14 in Miami.
Nichols announced at the start of his campaign he would be holding Town Halls for the counties that he is running to represent through July.
Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District includes all or part of 24 counties in Eastern Oklahoma, including Ottawa County.
Wednesday's open Town Hall will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ottawa County Courthouse Annex, 119 E. Central in Miami.
A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Nichols is a sixth-generation Oklahoman that began his career in politics on the Tahlequah City Council serving a total of six years before winning the office of Mayor in 2011.
Nichols secured his second term as Mayor of Tahlequah in 2015, which he is currently serving.
During a February visit to Ottawa County, Nichols honed in on accessibility and open dialog, referencing a series of Town Halls hosted by his incumbent opponent, OK-D2 Congressman Markwayne Mullin, from late March through mid-April, 2016.
During his tour, Mullin garnered criticism for an exchange he had with an attendee in Pryor for holding up a red postcard-sized piece of construction paper to signal disagreement with some of the Congressman's talking points.
One of the conditions laid out by Mullin's for his 2016 Town Hall tour was that no signage was allowed to be displayed or raised at the meetings.
Following the exchange in Pryor, Mullin drew further criticisms for the cancellation of a Town Hall meeting in Cherokee County and later for a statement he made about taxpayers not paying his salary during his appearance in Delaware County April 11, 2017.
Nichols said during his last Ottawa County visit he will be taking a very different approach during his Town Halls, welcoming critical feedback and possibly even providing cards similar to the ones banned during Mullin's meeting tour.
"Sometime around April our representative decided to cancel a town hall event, back in Cherokee County where I'm from... and it's because somebody at a previous event held up some red pieces of paper or something when they disagreed with him," said Nichols at the meet-and-greet. "We're thinking about handing out red pieces of paper at the door and saying 'use these if you feel the need.'"
Nichols added he is willing to discuss "any topic, with anyone, at any time," crediting his extensive experience on the municipal level in directly addressing concerns from constituents.
To learn more about Nichols and his platform, connect with his campaign at http://nichols4congress.nationbuilder.com and on Facebook at Jason Nichols for Congress.
Dorothy Ballard is the managing news editor of the Miami News-Record. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @dm_ballard.