Oklahoma District 5 congressional race hard to call

June 3, 2014
KRMG.com
By Russell Mills

The race to replace Congressman James Lankford in Oklahoma's 5th District has drawn a large field of contenders on the Republican side.

With about a month to go before the primary, a SoonerPoll showed a statistical dead heat between three of the candidates, with three more trailing.

None of them, though, polled more than about 11 percent, with some 49 percent of the voters still undecided.

That makes the race wide open, and State Sen. Clark Jolley tells KRMG he's hoping to be one of two candidates in an August runoff.

While the 5th Congressional District doesn't touch Tulsa County, KRMG has many listeners in the central part of the state which comprises the 5th District.

Jolley says Oklahomans need to know all their congressmen, and the congressmen in turn need to represent the entire state, not just their own district.

"Oklahoma has a congressional delegation of five people," he said Monday. "We have 54 voices from California that we have to compete with. Whoever represents Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District has to represent not just Oklahoma County, Pottawatomie County, and Seminole County. They have to also keep a look out for the rest of the state, whether it's Altus, or Guymon, or Tulsa, Miami, Broken Arrow or Broken Bow and Idabel. The entire state has to be a focus because there's just so few of us in Washington in the delgation, you have to have five voices working together. That's just an imperative or else the five voices from Oklahoma, for Oklahoma values, are going get drowned out easily by the numerous voices from California, Florida, Texas, Ohio, New York."

Jolley touts his jobs plan, which can be found on his website, and says he's been "tested by fire" by serving for ten years in the State Senate, where he points to his conservative voting record.

His central theme, he says, is to take what works in Oklahoma and try to translate that to the federal government.

"When we look at Washington, the things that are going on right in Oklahoma, we need to ask the question 'why are we not getting the same things done in Washington?'"