Canadian County rancher Robert Hubbard declared his candidacy for Oklahoma's 3rd Congressional District on Monday, claiming that incumbent Frank Lucas is controlled by Washington lobbyists.
“I pledge to you that I will never be investigated by the House Ethics Committee and that I will not take fact-finding trips to Ireland for my wife and me at the expense and invitation of lobbyists,” said Hubbard, a Yukon Republican. “The 3rd District seat should belong to the people of Oklahoma and right now it belongs to the lobbyists in Washington.”
A spokesman for Hubbard said the candidate's reference to the House Ethics Committee investigation concerned a 2010 inquiry into eight lawmakers' fundraising activities that occurred about the time financial reform legislation was being considered in 2009.
Lucas' staff announced in September 2010 that the investigation had been dropped.
Records show Lucas, R-Cheyenne, and his wife took a trip to Ireland last August that was paid for by The Ripon Society and the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange. Such trips are legal when reported and funded by nonprofits, like these two groups.
Lucas declined to comment Monday on Hubbard's candidacy announcement.
Lucas is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and was working Monday to prepare the long-delayed farm bill for a final vote in the House later this week.
The 3rd Congressional District is a huge district that covers all or parts of 32 counties in northwestern Oklahoma.
Hubbard, 69, said the country needs “consistent, conservative leadership” and pledged to work to reduce the national debt.
He criticized the nation's agricultural policies for continuing “corporate welfare” for “Walmart-type operations.”
Hubbard is chairman of the Canadian County Republican Party and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010. Hubbard received less than 4 percent of the vote in the 2010 Republican primary election.