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State senator calling for Rep. Sean Roberts to drop out of labor commissioner race to 'amend past mistakes'

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A photo of Oklahoma Senator Jessica Garvin provided by the lawmakers' Facebook page on August 10, 2022.

An Oklahoma state senator is sharing why she's calling for Rep. Sean Roberts to drop out of the state's race of labor commissioner.

Five Republican lawmakers are citing decades-old court documents that detail allegations of domestic abuse during Roberts' previous marriage.

Sen. Jessica Garvin said she felt compelled to sign the joint legislative letter to, as she describes, "amend her past mistakes."

The state senator shared that she was both mentally and physically abused by someone she dated while in college.

Looking back, Garvin said she never told anyone because she didn't think people would believe her, or care, due to her boyfriend's high social status.

"I've carried that burden that because I didn't say anything after I finally got out of that relationship," Garvin began. "What he did to the next person, or the next person, or the next person... But the reality is, I could have stopped him. I guarantee I wasn't the first person it happened to, you know what I mean?"

After hearing of the state representative's alleged abuse, Garvin said she couldn't bear to face the women in her district knowing that she sat back and did nothing.

"I just knew that I couldn't live with myself if I missed an opportunity to correct what I didn't do 18 years ago by standing up for myself," Garvin explained.

While her experiences were minor in comparison to the alleged abuse that Roberts' ex-wife faced, Garvin said it's necessary to continue having conversations like these to overcome stigmas about domestic violence.

In response, Representative Roberts said the abuse allegations are a "political hit job" by his opponent Republican incumbent labor commissioner, Leslie Osborn.

According to a press release released by Roberts' campaign managers, his ex-wife — who initially described the alleged abuse when she filed for divorce — says she has "nothing bad to say about him."

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.