The Edmond Sun

November 7, 2012

Voters send Lankford back to Congress

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District voters re-elected Congressman James Lankford with 153,262 votes, or 58.9 percent, over the 96,384 votes, or 37 percent, for Democrat Tom Guild, according to the State Election Board. Lankford was first elected to Congress in 2010.

The Edmond Sun asked Lankford what his mandate will be in Congress after a close presidential race.

“My mandate is still the mandate of the people that elect me,” Lankford said at the Oklahoma City Marriott Hotel. “There is this perception that whatever the national election is — that’s what I’ll go do — that’s not true. The people that elected me in this district asked me to represent their values.”

Independent candidate Pat Martin of Jones garnered 5,364 votes, or 2.1 percent. Independent Robert T. Murphey of Norman received 5,149 votes, or 2 percent.

Guild, who voted early on Friday and waited about an hour and a half in line, said even though he was outspent roughly 12-1 by his opponent, and competed with a budget of less than $150,000, his campaign was a grassroots effort with volunteers visiting 20,000 households and made 70,000 phone calls. He said he is very appreciative of all the efforts and support.

“We worked really hard,” Guild said.

Guild said his campaign was partly about getting Oklahoma to be a more welcoming and more progressive state. Oklahoma must not remain stuck in the past when it comes to issues such as contraceptives and economic policies, he said. He also champions doing more to support education.

Lankford received just more than $1 million in total contribution receipts for his re-election campaign, according to federal campaign reporting records.

Lankford thanked his supporters, saying his re-election was not about him, but a set of ideas embraced by voters.

“I just happen to be the standard bearer of those ideas right now,” Lankford told The Edmond Sun. “There’s been other standard bearers before me and there will be others after me.”

“He’s a man of conviction, a man of value. He’s my brother in Christ,” said Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb.

Former Edmond mayors Patrice Douglas and Saundra Naifeh said Lankford has done a great job representing Edmond.

“I’m so glad he gets to move out of the freshman category into the experienced congressman category,” said Douglas, corporation commissioner, R-Edmond. “I can’t say enough good things about him.”