The mother of three who lost her son, Christopher, in last year’s tornado that struck Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore has spent the past year fighting to get a storm shelter funding plan on a statewide ballot. After running into roadblocks through the petition process and unsuccessfully trying to lobby state legislators, Legg decided she had to do more.
“I never dreamed that this was in my future,” said Legg, who planned to file Wednesday to run for office in District 53 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. “If I want change, I have to do this.”
Legg is one of several parents and volunteers who worked over the past year to collect signatures for a petition that would ask Oklahoma voters to approve a funding plan for storm shelters in schools. The petition ran into hurdles, and Gov. Mary Fallin and other lawmakers have backed another storm shelter plan that would use local tax dollars rather than state bonds.
Legg is running as a Republican against incumbent Mark McBride (R-Moore), whom she said had been unresponsive to her concerns. Legg is the daughter of missionaries, a former instructor with the American Red Cross and the mother of two children ages 12 and 8.
Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs), who is running for governor, has made storm shelters in schools one of his major campaign talking points. While he is in a different political party than Legg, he said her candidacy showed the democratic process in action.
“That’s the beautiful thing about our system; anyone who feels that they can do the job, they have the opportunity to place their name on the ballot,” Dorman said. “Danni’s a wonderful woman. I’ve enjoyed working with her on this Take Shelter Oklahoma issue.”
While she realizes the attention on her campaign will have a lot to do with last year’s tornado, she said she wants to run a race focused on the future.
“I am running because I want positive change in our government,” Legg said. “And when you have a change in your life like I had, it opens your eyes and you have a different view of society.”