Blake “Cowboy” Stephens will tackle the state of Oklahoma like he tackles any other issue that lands in front of him; with hard work, dedication and the passion to see him through the job. He does not claim to be a politician going into this race but recognizes the act of entering, marks that transformation. With that evolvement, he is focused on not becoming the stereotypical politician; he takes great pride in speaking directly. When his mother, Evelyn, called him on the way to his initial campaign meet-and-greet, she relayed a conversation she had with her pastor who made this observation about Blake, “I know one thing for sure, he won’t talk out of both sides of his mouth.” After the pastor’s comment, she inquired about the verse, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” The pastor reminded Evelyn that verse is found in Philippians 4:13. Blake took comfort from her words and the further encouragement of extending his original calling of serving others; they discovered together 4:13 (the verse in Philippians) also coincides with the day he filed to run 4/13/2018. Blake commits to being REAL and honest with those around him, embracing his servant’s heart especially through leadership, being true to how he was raised and how he raised his own family — nothing is achieved without hard work and dedication.
Time to get REAL Oklahoma. REAL people, making REAL sustainable change for both economic and social growth as a state. Blake “Cowboy” Stephens truly began his campaign for change during the Education Movement that called teachers, parents, students and supporters from all across the state of Oklahoma; he just didn’t know it yet. The sign he carried all nine days at the capitol had a two-sided message reading, “This REAL Cowboys says… Get REAL Oklahoma,” while the back relayed “The Counseling Cowboy says… Restore Funding.” Blake was repeatedly the last man standing at the end of the day, it would have been a full nine for nine but one day out of the nine he was afoot and needed to get the last available ride home from the capitol. He consistently shows the passion and dedication necessary to accomplish any task set before him. Right now, his goal is to serve ALL the people of Oklahoma; to bring transparency to our government, audit externally without bias, make education funding a priority, appreciate our educators by being competitive in our region, and work to the common goal of a greater Oklahoma. These goals are all attainable with someone like Blake as Governor.
Blake has a servant’s heart. He has a heart for people and believes in leading by example. He has a heart to represent all people of Oklahoma, by breaking down the walls of the “Country Club” that has become our state’s capital. The culture of privilege in the State of Oklahoma’s country club mentality and the way business is conducted within the confines of the capitol’s walls has to change! The system is broken and needs reconstructed from the ground up. Blake wants to be a voice of change for the regular, hard-working people of Oklahoma. While acknowledging his own background of social privilege, he does not come from a background of great economic privilege. While growing up money was often tight and he learned the value of hard work and the value of a dollar. Blake and his siblings worked on the farm as soon as they were able; feeding, watering, doctoring and anything else that was needed. He is insistent to this day of not living above his means and follows his parents’ example and tries to pay in cash saved when possible. Blake endeavors to instead be a harbinger of fiscal and social responsibility; a change of pace from career politicians and special-interest led elections.
Blake has been serving in what he considers his calling, working with children as a school counselor. He has been working for Locust Grove School district as a counselor for the past 23 years, at different school sites as necessary. He has a heart for the community and its children. His nickname “Cowboy” was earned at the site he is currently serving, the Early Learning Center. The kids also call him “Woody” like the character from the animated film “Toy Story,” who is also a cowboy. The kids, grades pre-K through 1st, love “Cowboy” and are always excited to receive a turkey feather on their birthday or after a big test.
Blake collects all the turkey feathers himself, either shed naturally on the ranch or from his latest shot. Blake believes firmly in wildlife conservation and the efforts to maintain balance in the wildlife population. That being said, he thinks the best part is when his wife Kathy fries the turkey afterwards. Blake is a firm believer in living off of the land. He hunts, fishes and always has a garden in the spring through fall months. The gardening tradition he carries on from his own mother.
Blake has served a part in wildlife conservation for years with the state of Oklahoma. He has participated in land management practices with the NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service, formerly SCS (Soil Conservation Service) and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife. He is always interested in doing his part in the conservation of our natural, renewable and non-renewable resources. He has been in several practices and programs. Some of which are: EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentive Program), Quail Restoration Program and currently CSP (Conservation Stewardship Program).
Leadership has a been a point of focus throughout Blake’s life. Throughout his childhood and teenage years, Blake was heavily involved in the livestock and roping scene. He is a third generation team roper and rodeo cowboy. While he was growing up the Stephens’ family built a roping arena on the farm, they spent all the spare time they had roping in the (practice pen) arena they built on the family farm that is still there today. Four generations of Stephens have been able to rope in that arena and it is a source of great pride. They were very competitive in the rodeo world during this time and then later in his life Blake continued the tradition. Recently Blake was able to compete in the USTRC Team Roping Finals in Oklahoma City in October of 2017. Currently he is a member of the All Star Team Roping.
As a young adult he served in several leadership positions, many of which were connected to his work on the farm and the competitive world of rodeo as well. He served as a member of Sapulpa High School FFA all four years of his high school career. Elected as FFA Vice President his Junior year in 1978 and then FFA President his Senior year 1979, serving double duty that year also as President of the FFA Parliamentary Procedure Team. While heavily involved in FFA during high school he participated in the 1977 Oklahoma State and National Championship Livestock Judging Teams. In 1979 he was a recipient for the FFA Oklahoma State Chapter Farmer Degree. Also during his senior year he served as the Senior Class Secretary, and continues to be heavily involved with Sapulpa High School Reunions. While in attendance at NEO A&M he served on the 1980 Livestock Judging Team; his sophomore year in 1981 as the Sophomore Class President. He continued his FFA involvement as a student at Oklahoma State University in Collegiate FFA; he participated also in Alpha Tau Alpha and the Block and Bridle Club. Blake has continued to be a leader to the children he serves, as well as the teachers he works with on a daily basis. He is always ready to lend a hand or give direction to those around him. He leads by example, always putting in the work necessary to accomplish his goals. He does not believe good things just happen to people, they have to work for them. Blake is always willing to roll up his sleeves and get down to work, no matter the time or effort necessary.
Blake is the middle child of John and Evelyn Stephens, he was raised with his two sisters on a working farm outside of Sapulpa, Oklahoma. His parents raised all three of their children to be hard-working, dedicated individuals. John worked on the farm, which was a show pig and breeding operation; he also worked in construction and spent many years on projects in and around the Tulsa area. The most notable was the Golden Driller at the Tulsa Fairgrounds, John served as the General Superintendent during construction and was asked to model by the designers. He is lovingly and proudly referred to as “the” Golden Driller by family and friends. Evelyn worked cleaning houses and keeping the house and farm running. Undoubtedly, her greatest job was the time spent with the three children who grew up modeling the work ethic seen in both of their parents.
Blake met his wife and best friend Kathy, whom he refers to as his gift from God, at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. He claims that she is a saint for “putting up with my western way of life.” Prior to attending OSU Stillwater, Blake attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami where he received an Associate’s Degree. Blake went on to graduate from OSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Education and later went on to attend Northeastern State University in Tahlequah earning both a Master’s of Education in Secondary School Counseling and Elementary School Counseling. Kathy is also an educator, she is a librarian at Locust Grove Upper Elementary School. Blake and Kathy have two grown children, Sarah who is married to Brandon Daniels and Joshua who is married to Jewely Stephens. They enjoy spending time with both their children and their spouses, but they really enjoy time spent with their two grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Annie on the ranch. Whether riding horses with Pa or picking blackberries or huckleberries with Granny, Blake and Kathy treasure the time they spend with KK and Annie.