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Dennie Oxley I replaces Oxley II as candidate for District 73

July 23, 2008
Taswell resident Dennie Oxley I has the rare chance to follow in his son's footsteps by running as the Democratic candidate for House District 73 in the Indiana State Legislature.

Dennie Oxley I
Oxley's decision to run came after his son, Dennie Oxley II, accepted the invitation by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jill Long Thompson to be her lieutenant governor candidate.

In order to run for lieutenant governor, Oxley II had to remove his name from the ballot for District 73. After this was done, the state Democratic chairman called a caucus and set a timetable for people to file for candidacy. The caucus met in Washington County, the biggest county in the district, and Oxley I was elected unanimously by those present.

Like his son, Oxley does have experience in a public office. He was Patoka Township trustee for four terms, totaling 16 years. He also has experience in running a campaign as he has helped his son do so for the past five two-year terms.

As a township trustee, it was Oxley's job to do assessments for personal property and help out with poor relief. His philosophy as a trustee was to "treat people the way I would want to be treated if I was in their situation."

"It was a good job because you got to meet a lot of people and help a lot of people," Oxley said.

Oxley was never defeated as a township trustee, but simply chose not to run when he became the girls' varsity basketball coach at Crawford County High School.

In his years of dealing with property, Oxley knows firsthand the woes of property taxes. He believes that progress has been made recently on property tax reform but more needs to be done.

"Property taxes should be more fair and more predictable," said Oxley, citing the example of different parts of the county paying different taxes on similar lots.

Oxley not only supports property tax reform but the abolition of the sales tax on gasoline.

"Indiana is one of only seven states that still have a sales tax on gas," he said.

As a teacher at Crawford County High School, Oxley said he is "an advocate for public education in our district."

He thinks that District 73, which covers part of eight counties, is being shorted on tax money for education, saying that the district deserves "a fair share of the tax dollars." Oxley used his own school of CCHS as an example.

"Every year we get less money and more mandates," Oxley said. "We have more things we're held responsible for without funding."

While education and taxes may be a major concern for Oxley, his main platform is to make sure the people of his district "have a voice in Indianapolis."

He plans on achieving this by touring the district and listening to people this summer and fall while attempting to visit all the local parades and fairs that he can.

Oxley made it clear that he is running for District 73 for himself and no one else.

"I'm running for this office because I want it," Oxley said. "When I get involved in something, I am in it to win. If I get elected, I plan to serve every day of the term."

Oxley's opponent in the race for House District 73 will be Republican candidate Steve Davisson of Salem.

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