On the job: James Lankford takes the congressional oath

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 05-Jan-2011

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. James Lankford took the formal oath of office today (Wednesday, January 5) in the nation’s Capitol. From his office in Washington, D.C., the Oklahoma City Republican sent CapitolBeatOK a statement after he and other members of the U.S. House were sworn into the 112th Congress.

“Today marks the next step in a journey down a new path,” said Congressman Lankford. “For the next two years, House Republicans will work to put our country back on track with fiscal responsibility, free market reforms and greater transparency in government. This is what the country is expecting and Republicans are committed to the task.

“It is a tremendous honor to serve in the United States House of Representatives. It’s a duty my family and I do not take lightly. The people of the Fifth District of Oklahoma have entrusted me with this seat in Congress and I intend to serve with their best interests in mind.

“The best days are still ahead for our great country if today’s leaders make the sacrifices required for the benefit of those who will come after us. Now is the time to make the tough decisions and I am ready to begin working with my colleagues here in Washington to make our nation more prosperous, more secure and stronger for generations to come.”

Congressman Lankford began his day by participating in a bipartisan prayer service with fellow members of the House of Representatives. The official swearing-in ceremonies began on the floor of the U.S. House at Noon Eastern Standard Time/11 a.m. Central Standard Time.

Lankford and his new staff held an open house all day at his new office, 509 Cannon House Office Building.

The official start of duties for Lankford concludes what can fairly be described as a remarkable rise to political power. In the matter of a bit more than a year, he went from tenure as director of Falls Creek camp to the U.S. Congress. Along the way, the neophyte politician dispatched experienced candidates, including members of the state Legislature, and a credible Democratic opponent.

In terms of defying conventional wisdom, Lankford’s ascent may be the most dramatic of the past decade in Oklahoma politics, and comparable in significance to David Boren’s upset win in the Democratic gubernatorial primary of 1974 (and subsequent victory in the general election), the 1980 primary and general election wins of Don Nickles for the U.S. Senate, or U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s first election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994. 

A note to readers: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report. Because of the significance of the contest to fill former U.S. Rep. Mary Falllin’s open seat in Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional District, CapitolBeatOK provided regular coverage from the early in the race through election day, November 2, and up until this formal swearing-in. With an overriding focus on statehouse coverage in Oklahoma City, CapitolBeatOK’s coverage of Lankford’s work may be infrequent, but will continue (as with the rest of the congressional delegation) when events or circumstances seem to merit it.