For the last eleven years, it has been my honor and privilege to represent the people of my hometown of Del City at the State Capitol. For the last seven years it has been a true pleasure to lead the honorable women and men of the House Democratic Caucus as House Minority Leader. And for the last six months, it has been the dream of a lifetime to travel across this great state to visit with my fellow Oklahomans about the issues important to them in my campaign for Governor.
Those roles and responsibilities, while at times enjoyable and rewarding, did not come without a price. Unfortunately, that price was paid by those nearest and dearest to me. The stresses and strains of my career, the time away from my family, and the choice to wrongly prioritize my life’s decisions have brought me to this moment. I can no longer ask my wife and children to sacrifice for me. It is time for me to reprioritize what is important in this world.
Therefore, I am announcing today, that I will be immediately ending my campaign for Governor of Oklahoma and will be stepping down from the legislature at the beginning of next year, leaving me time to complete the important work of the special session before us in the legislature.
To those who believed and invested in me over the years, especially during these last six months, I am truly grateful for your support. To the kind-hearted citizens who called, emailed, and messaged me during the campaign to encourage my family and me along the journey, I offer a sincere thank you. To those who volunteered for my campaign, sacrificing their time and talent to aid in our run for Governor, I thank you as well. To the campaign team that helped make my dream a reality, I will never forget your devotion, drive, and passion to make a real change in this state. To the incredibly talented and thoughtful Representatives with whom I have served in the House Democratic Caucus, those who honored me by allowing me to serve as their leader, words cannot express the love and gratitude I have for you. To the citizens of House District 94, my hometown, serving you will always stand as one of the highest honors of my life. And to my family, both immediate and extended, what you have sacrificed for me will leave me forever indebted to you.
This moment is certainly disappointing for me and I am certain it will come as a disappointment to those who believed in my campaign and our vision for Oklahoma’s future. To you, I would offer that my time in the legislature has taught me ideals and goals are much bigger than one person or one campaign. Those things we collectively fought for like better public schools for our children, access to quality health care for all of our citizens, a more fair and just criminal justice system, and a tax structure that fairly balances the burden of funding core services in this state are no less important or no less worthy today.
I implore you to keep up the fight. Always hold those in power accountable for the decisions they make that have sweeping effects on the nearly four million people who call our state home. And never forget that those of us blessed to be called Representative, Senator, or Governor work for you.
The next few days will be challenging for my friends and family. I ask for your understanding, your prayers, and privacy during this time. And I once again thank you for the allowing me to take part in this incredible journey. I have been abundantly blessed. I pray God will bless each of you.