Claremore Daily Progress

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August 8, 2012

Herriman, Wallace support infrastructure work

MUSKOGEE — Improvements to the country’s crumbling infrastructure are key to a secure economic future and vital to public safety, some experts contend.

The need for infrastructural improvements is so great that two unlikely partners — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO – issued a joint statement more than a year ago, asking Congress to “build America’s infrastructure” and “support job creation.”
Although that largely has yet to materialize, two local Democrats jockeying for the party’s nomination in the 2nd Congressional District race indicate that they would answer that call. Both men said the nation’s infrastructural systems are “unacceptable” and “desperately need” repair.
Wayne Herriman, a Muskogee agribusinessman, said that as a business owner he understands the need “to make wise investments to help grow this economy.”
“We simply cannot allow it to deteriorate to the point where collapsing bridges are undermining public safety,” he said. “But it is not only a public safety issue, it is an economic issue.”
Herriman said he would support any infrastructure project that he believes is “necessary for public safety” or “would help move this economy forward.”
Rob Wallace, a former state and federal prosecutor in Fort Gibson, said investing in an improved infrastructural system “really isn’t an option.” Citing statistics regarding the declining condition of the states’ roads, bridges and dams, Wallace said something must be done to “protect our citizens and their property.”
“A key role of government is to protect its people, and improving infrastructure is vital to keeping Oklahomans safe,” he said. “Safety and job creation must be a top priority in Congress. We can accomplish both by investing in our infrastructure now.”
Both Herriman and Wallace cited infrastructure investments as a way to invigorate a stagnant economy and ignite growth in what has been a lackluster performance in job creation. 

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