By JIM BRIDENSTINE
Republican Candidate for U.S. Congress, Oklahoma District 1
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As I’ve campaigned over the past nine months, people have asked me why, as a Republican, I’ve chosen to challenge our incumbent Republican congressman John Sullivan. The reasons are many and I will share some of them, but first I want you to know who I am.
I’m a Jenks High School graduate, a husband and father, a Christian, a Navy pilot and a combat veteran. My beautiful wife Michelle and I live in south Tulsa with our three children Walker (6), Sarah (4), and Grant (3 mos.) I graduated from Rice University with degrees in economics, business and psychology. After college, I joined the Navy and became a pilot. I flew combat missions in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Southern Watch in Iraq, and Operation Shock and Awe in Iraq. Later, I flew the F-18 Hornet fighter with the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to TOPGUN.
After leaving active duty, I earned an from Cornell University and returned to Tulsa to be the executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. I was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve where I fly the E-2C Hawkeye, a surveillance and operations command aircraft, in Central and South America in support of America’s war on drugs.
I am challenging John Sullivan because I believe he has failed to lead and represent the conservative values of the people in the First District. From February 2002, to May 2012, Sullivan missed 672 of 7,602 recorded or roll call votes, which is 8.8 percent: Compare that to the median, 2.4 percent. During one quarter in 2009 he missed 60 percent of his votes.
During Sullivan’s ten years in Congress, our national debt has soared from $5 trillion to over $15 trillion. This is largely due to the bailouts, stimulus packages, and 11 votes he’s cast supporting debt ceiling increases. Sullivan has not proven himself to be a leader. During his years in Congress, he has not chaired a single committee or subcommittee. He has not been elected to a key leadership position within his party. Sullivan, along with other content, career politicians have led us into a severe, protracted recession, millions of job losses, trillions in new debt, and a near complete loss of confidence in Congress. We cannot depend on the same politicians who led us into this national crisis to lead us out.
Our country desperately needs real, conservative leaders who are concerned with preserving our children’s and grandchildren’s futures. Stand with me on June 26 and I will be that leader!