Tom Guild announces campaign for Fifth District congressional seat

Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 27-Mar-2010

Tom Guild of Edmond, secretary of the Oklahoma County Democratic party, has announced his candidacy for the Fifth Congressional District seat now held by Mary Fallin.

In a prepared statement, Guild took issue with Republicans in Congress on many issues, including the recently passed federal health care bill. Guild praised Democrats in Congress for “making denial of coverage on the basis of preexisting conditions a thing of the past, prohibiting sex discrimination by charging women more for their health care premiums and forbidding insurers form placing lifetime dollar limits on policies.”

Remembering the “wide open” 1992 campaign in the district, when Democratic candidate Laurie Williams and Republican Ernest “Jim” Istook survived multi-candidate primaries as prelude to a competitive general election, CapitolBeatOK asked Guild to outline his strategy in what is now considered a strongly Republican district. He replied:

“I plan to get the nomination by running in the mainstream of the Democratic party, as outlined in my statement. Those mainstream values are the ones held by most people in this district.” Guild said he believes voters are “tired of big money” and that the views of all the Republican candidates on issues like health care reform, American involvement in the United Nations and privatization of social security do not represent the views of most people in the district.

Guild said he disagrees with many Democrats in Washington on the pending “Cap-and-Trade” legislation, saying he believes it would hurt Oklahoma industry and does not make economic sense. He agreed with CapitolBeatOK’s characterization that he could be called a “pro-Energy Democrat.”

Responding to those who say no Democrat can win the seat, he noted that a Democrat had won the first congressional seat in New York for the first time since the Civil War, and pointed as well to the Republican win in the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Guild said, “In politics, anything is possible.”

Commenting on his reluctance to use some modern telecommunications devices, Guild joked, “For those who think I’m not serious about this race, I just note that I bought a cell phone to get into this race!”

In response to a question from CapitolBeatOK, Guild said he had “no criticism” of Rep. Fallin in terms of her performance on gaining transportation funding for the city area, including her work with members of the congressional majority to sustain funding for the realigned Crosstown Expressway (Interstate 40).

Guild announced his candidacy with several friends and allies at his side during a Thursday (March 25) press conference at the state Capitol. Local activist Patty Besson moderated the session with reporters.

In the 2001 right to work referendum campaign, Guild was a leading spokesman against the constitutional amendment. At the announcement for his congressional bid, Guild was described as an advocate of “workplace democracy.” Guild is an emeritus professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he taught for 27 years.

He has also taught at Oklahoma City University, and is a former president of the UCO chapter of the American Association of University Professors. Guild also served four separate terms as AAUP state conference president, three terms in other state AAUP offices and was on the state executive committee from 1993-2008.