Oklahoma Republicans and local political pundits have been confidently predicting a GOP win in the U.S. Congressional Fifth District this year.
The GOP runoff over the seat now held by gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin is between former state legislator Kevin Calvey and political newcomer James Lankford, who won the most votes in the race. The third-place winner, state Rep. Mike Thompson, has endorsed Lankford.
One obvious interpretation of the GOP election result is that Republicans are split and don’t clearly know who they want to replace Fallin. This fracture obviously allows Democrats a unique political opportunity this year in a district that political pundits claims is a safe one for the GOP.
Democrats have nominated Oklahoma City attorney Billy Coyle for the Fifth. Coyle is the best candidate for the seat. He would bring more political balance to Oklahoma’s congressional delegation and would at least work in favor of issues that would benefit regular Oklahomans.
What in the world did Fallin accomplish during her time in Washington besides bringing attention to herself with right-wing political stunts? She was ineffective. She supported the GOP party line, but is Oklahoma better off because of it? No.
Here’s Coyle on one of the issues, according to his campaign site:
It is critical to bring American jobs back to America. He [Coyle] believes that it unfairly penalizes laid off workers if we eliminate unemployment benefits before job growth returns to America. Billy believes that a national energy program based on Oklahoma oil, natural gas, and wind is the key to bringing jobs back to Oklahoma.
I like that one of Coyle’s main focuses is on jobs. Don’t let the right-wingers fool you. Creating more jobs in the country-and better, higher-paying jobs in Oklahoma-is the most crucial issue. For years now, our country has not given domestic issues enough attention while foreign policy initiatives have helped create huge budget deficits.
It’s important to point out Coyle is a former sergeant in the United States Marine Corp Reserves. His military service resonates with a lot of Oklahomans. Military service is not and should never be tied to one particular political party.
I know many Oklahoma Democrats these days are discouraged about the party’s chances in November, but nothing is going to happen unless people keep working against the odds. Coyle, an Oklahoma native, would be an excellent U.S. Representative for the state. He should win in debate situations against Calvey or Lankford, if there are debates, but he will need a major television advertising campaign to win the general election.