By Patrick B. McGuigan
In a video interview with CapitolBeatOK and News9, Oklahoma City attorney Billy Coyle listed jobs, energy and veterans as key issues in what he said would be a $1 million campaign to elect the first Democrat from Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional District in recent history.
When he formally entered the race for Congress earlier this month, Coyle said, “We need to focus on jobs here in America – how do we keep jobs from going overseas, and how do we get jobs that are going overseas and bring them back home for these people?”
On energy policy, he commented, “I’m tired of all the talk in Washington. It’s time we start using Oklahoma resources, and put Oklahoma energy number one in this country.” Concerning services for military veterans, the Marine Corps veteran said, “If we’re going to continue to fight in these wars, then we’re going to take care of the young men and women that are fighting, and bring them home."
Coyle said Oklahomans are “tired of everything else. They want people to focus on the economy and putting people back to work here in America.”
Although no Democrat has won the seat since the 1974 election, Coyle reflected, “There’s no incumbent. You look at the Republicans, and I’m just as well-known as any of the Republicans running. I think people don’t care this year about whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat. They want to vote on the person.”
Coyle noted that Jim Roth carried the district in his 2008 Corporation Commissioner race, and, “Andrew Rice only lost to a heavy incumbent [U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe] by 2 percent. So I think there’s no doubt in my mind that a Democrat, running strong, can win this district for the first time in 35 years.
He said a realistic budget for a winning campaign is “a million dollars. It’s going to take every Democrat, it’s going to take Democrats that haven’t been thinking about giving money to step up and give money. You know, that’s one thing the Republican party does. They fund their people and they push their message. That’s what us Democrats have got to do, is step up and give money.”
Coyle faces retired university Professor Tom Guild in the July 27 primary. The victor will face one of the seven Republicans contending in the primary and likely runoff. Unedited video of the interview accompanies this story.