In 5th District, Independent Dave White endorses Lankford, joins GOP

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 13-Sep-2010

In Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional district, Independent candidate Dave White announced Monday (September 13) he has re-registered as a Republican and is supporting the Grand Old Party’s nominee, James Lankford, in his campaign for Congress.

Lankford joined White in making the announcement at the Republican Party’s headquarters on N. Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City.

The announcement gives Lankford a boost in his campaign versus Oklahoma City attorney Billy Coyle, an Oklahoma City attorney and  Marine Corps veteran. Previously, Lankford consolidated the Republican base with a 2-1 victory over former state Rep. Kevin Calvey in the August runoff, and receipt of Calvey’s strong endorsement.

White’s announcement followed, he said in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, numerous encounters with Lankford on the campaign trail and the “realization that we share a common goal for Oklahoma and our nation, we agree on every policy issue and we have immense respect for each other.”  He added, “James and I agree about business, veterans, second amendment, strong national defense, fiscal responsibility and we both believe that this is a time when we need new conservative voices in politics.” 

White continued, “After being a life-long Republican, I became an independent last year because I was concerned with the Republican Party and what I felt was our lack of focus on developing new candidates and staying committed to the core principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility.  But, after the Oklahoma primary in August and the renewed commitment of the national GOP leadership on fiscal solutions, I am ready to stand with the party I have identified with for years.  I stand here today knowing the best way to support Republican ideals is to be a Republican.”

“We are in an election year that will be a sea of change,” White added. “Here in Oklahoma, and across the nation, voters are carefully selecting those they support. It is simply not productive for two people with such similar views to be on the same ballot. Elections are about contrasts and frankly, I have found there’s little contrast between Dave White and James Lankford regarding where we stand on the issues.”

“As a former SEAL officer we were trained to recognize that the enemy of ‘good’ is ‘better’.  James and I are both very good candidates to represent this district in Congress.  While the voters are busy discerning which one of us is “better” the battle is lost to the very same ideals that we are fighting against. I understand that it is my responsibility to stand down for the good of the team,” White stated.

White acknowledged that his decision to end his candidacy and endorse Lankford comes after the November general election ballots have been printed. “I am a deliberative person and on something this important, I wanted to make certain I had thought it through and through. What is really important here is that we elect a conservative to Congress to help in trying to restructure our government and James has the party support and people support to make certain that happens,” White said.

In a statement send to CapitolBeatOK, Lankford said he was humbled by White’s decision and his support.

“Dave is a tremendously decent man with great integrity and he is a patriot whose military service as a Navy SEAL has been exemplary. I am honored and delighted to have him as a supporter rather than an opponent. I believe he has a very bright future in the Republican Party,” Lankford said.

Lankford said White has agreed to provide his insight on issues and appear at some campaign events with him.