Democracy can be a noisy, messy and sometimes frustrating process. Regardless of the challenges it sometimes poses, we are fortunate for the opportunity to help chart the course of our government.

Voters cast their ballots last week to let their voices be heard in a number of national, state and local offices. Now that the dust has settled, it is time to put aside our differences and focus on our common goals: building a strong future for our communities, our state and our nation.

Beyond political affiliation, race, religion and other artificial barriers, it is important to remember that we are all Oklahomans first. And we have proven that we can achieve great things when we work together.

The “my way or the highway” approach to policymaking is not useful in a democratic system. While a certain amount of jockeying is unavoidable in politics, it is not the way to achieve results. I believe it is more important to get things done.

I hope every Oklahoman will continue to step up to the plate, put aside differences and work together to realize the potential of our great state.  Each of us is empowered to make contributions every day to help shape our future. I urge all Oklahomans to stay informed and remain active in a positive, productive way to address issues that impact their lives.

Together, we have forged a dynamic and exciting path, and Oklahoma’s future is brighter every day. On the eve of our Centennial Celebration, Oklahoma is on the move. People across the country are looking to Oklahoma for ideas, and they are finding excellence. The major economic indicators show Oklahoma is heading in the right direction, and we must work together to keep our state on a successful path.

I am honored and humbled to serve you as governor, and I look forward to building a strong future for every Oklahoman.

If you have questions or comments, please write me at the Office of the Governor, Room 212, Oklahoma City OK 73105 or visit the “Contact the Governor” section of my website, www.gov.ok.gov.