Republican state Sen. Clark Jolley announced Thursday he will join the growing list of candidates running for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City.
“Too much government, too much spending, too many taxes — they're all destroying our country, our freedoms and our way of life,” Jolley, 43, of Edmond, said at a news conference at the Oklahoma History Center.
“We need someone who will fight to repeal Obamacare, someone who will fight to lower high taxes and someone who will fight, just like Sen. Tom Coburn has, against wasteful spending that burdens not only this nation today, but future generations to come,” he said.
Jolley, who serves as chairman of the state Senate Appropriations Committee, noted that the state's top income tax rate has been reduced from 7 percent to 5.25 percent during the nine years he has served in the state Senate. He said he plans to continue serving as Appropriations Committee chairman while running for office.
Two Democrats confirmed to The Oklahoman Thursday that they also have entered the race.
Marilynn Rainwater, who spent 28 years as an Oklahoma Department of Human Services child welfare worker and supervisor, said she has a simple message: protection of children.
“I still think someone needs to be their voice,” said Rainwater, 59, of Seminole.
Keith Davenport, D-Brooksville, said he is running because he's perturbed by the obstructionist policies of the Republican leadership.
“I don't believe they were sent there to block President Obama,” said Davenport, 59, who said he worked as a federal contractor recovering Medicare funds until his contract expired.
Well-known Republican candidates who previously have announced they were entering the 5th Congressional District race include Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas, former state Sen. Steve Russell and former state Rep. Shane Jett. Democrat Tom Guild, who was defeated by Lankford in 2012, also has announced he is a candidate.
Others are known to be considering the position.