Who am I?

I’ve spent a lifetime serving others and working to better the lives of those around me. My father was a Baptist minister, and I’m a proud citizen of Choctaw Nation. The values I grew up with taught me the importance of public service. After high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a Navy Corpsman. When I came back to Oklahoma, I joined the Oklahoma City Police Department and later went on to own and operate several successful small businesses.

I have been proud to serve my community during three terms in the OK House and one in the state Senate. The first openly gay member of the State Legislature when I was elected in 2006, I have championed issues that touch the lives of our highly diverse district in Oklahoma City where I have lived, worked, and raised children for four decades.

As a father of three, I understand the importance of fighting to move Oklahoma forward – that’s what I’ve tried to do my whole adult life. Whether it was taking care of fellow sailors, protecting our community as a police officer, or fighting for his constituents on the floor of the State Senate, my neighborhood association, at church, or at home with his family, I work to bring positive change to Oklahoma.

Why am I running?

Running for office - the Legislature, Senate and now US Congress - is an extension of wanting to serve my community. I'm running for Congress to bring some Oklahoma common sense to Washington, a place that could really use it.

Being a Democrat in Oklahoma isn't for the faint of heart these days. Our Governor and the Republican majorities in both houses are determined to punish the poor, gut public education and take our state backwards in time.

Our Congressional delegation is no different, and that has to change. The 5th District is the only one in the state where we have a fighting chance to elect a Democrat, and I'm determined to be that Democrat.

I have always been a voice for progressive policy and will speak out proudly for our principles during the campaign and in Congress.

My Goals

1 - Fight for an increased national minimum wage tied to the inflation rate.
2 - Protect Social Security and Medicare by a) fighting any attempt to privatize either program, and b) removing the cap on wages for Social Security, which will make the system solvent for decades to come.
3 - Work to improve health care for Oklahomans - our state declined to expand Medicaid (and turned down $2 billion) and we must find a way to protect and cover the hundreds of thousands of people in my state who are hurt by this decision.

My DFA Values

For many reasons, I have always tried to practice the politics of inclusion. Too many people in my state - and around the country - feel disconnected from huge decisions that affect their lives. Sadly, in many cases, they're right to feel that way.

In my state, the forces of reaction have many (and loud) voices, but ordinary citizens aren't heard. I intend to run a campaign - and serve in Washington - to give voice to people who don't feel they have one.

There are many things that Oklahomans agree about, but those aren't the things we talk about. No one wants to send their kids to bad schools, but we argue about Common Core instead of how to make schools better. No one wants sick people to be untended, but we argue about "Obamacare" instead. Everyone wants good jobs that provide dignity and fair pay, but we argue about who "deserves" minimum wage.

Despite appearances, Oklahomans can come together in a community of shared values. I hope to play a part in that.

My Campaign is People Powered!

TK

Voice support

Supporters:

  • Chad Hollinghead, OK
  • George Connelly, DC


About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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