Jason Reese said he believes his background lends itself to the job of Oklahoma Labor Commissioner.
“I’m currently a labor employment attorney in Oklahoma city,” Reese said. “Before that, I was an administrative rules counsel at the state House of Representatives.”
He said his experience in the state House allowed him to learn how state government works on the regulatory level.
“My job was to make sure (laws) were good for small business and to make sure they were constitutional,” he said.
Reese said he received his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Oklahoma.
With his background, Reese said he thinks he is the best candidate in the race for labor commissioner.
“Frankly, I thought I could do a better job than the guy who is there right now,” he said. “If you can’t say that, then there’s no point in running for office.”
Reese said he thinks the most important part of being labor commissioner is being even-handed between management and labor.
“I think it’s very important that a labor commissioner view his job as basically that of a judge and not go in with a pre-set agenda, saying, ‘I’m always going to find for business,’ or, ‘I’m always going to find for labor,’” he said.
Reese said he has come up with a proposal to protect Oklahoma veterans from wartime employment discrimination. He said the intent is to keep businesses from not hiring veterans based on the fear that they could be deployed again.
“There are some federal protections in place that do not get enforced nearly as much as they should,” he said.
“Most of those really just deal with getting re-employed in the same job that you left—not finding a job in the first place. I think it’s very important that we pick up the slack from the federal government and enforce a non-discrimination policy when it comes to reserve and guard members.”
He said he believes most businesses try to do the right thing but the proposal would help ensure all businesses don’t discriminate against veterans in the hiring process.
Reese said he also wants to modernize the regulatory system and put an expiration date on labor regulations.
“We shouldn’t just keep old regulations on the books just because they’ve been there for a while,” he said.
He said he would like regulations to come up every four years for renewal and the labor commissioner would have the job of explaining why the regulation is or isn’t still valid and needed.
Reese is married with two kids in Oklahoma City. In his spare time, Reese said he likes to hunt and fish.
“I’m glad that election day is just two days into the duck season, so I’m not going to miss too much of it,” he said.