Oklahoma’s gay senator announces bid for US Congress

Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District openly gay candidate, State Senator Al McAffrey. Photo by Robin Dorner.

by Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief

Today, State Senator Al McAffrey announced that he will, in fact, run for U.S. Congress in Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District. The seat will be vacated by US Congressman James Lankford who, in January of this year, announced he will run for the US Senate seat vacated by Senator Tom Coburn.

At the press conference held today, McAffrey said it’s not about political parties or bipartisanship, rather about our friends and neighbors.

He continued, “But to do it, we have to send different people to Congress. I’m running [for Congress] because I believe there is a better way,” said McAffrey. “As a father of three wonderful women and grandfather, I know my daughters deserve better.”

McAffrey is a Navy veteran, former Oklahoma City Police Officer and owner of OK Cremation and Mortuary Services. He grew up in Sulphur, OK and is the son of a Baptist minister.

In a report to The Gayly last month, McAffrey said, “I’ve been looking at this race for about a year. We had planned to run [in the 5th District] in 2016.” He said he had already started raising funds. “We have commitments from a lot of people here in Oklahoma and outside of Oklahoma helping us raise money.”

In a release sent today to the media, McAffrey said, “Right now, Washington is stuck in gridlock. Folks on both sides of the aisle are so stuck they can't manage to get anywhere on anything. And while they're playing politics, the folks back here at home are paying the price.

“I'm running for Congress because I believe there is a better way. As a veteran, small business owner, dad, grandpa and legislator, I have the unique experience and proven track record of service to go to Washington to end the gridlock, reach across the aisle and start getting things done for Oklahomans.”

McAffrey is currently serving in the Oklahoma State Senate, representing the people of Senate District 46. He previously served two and a half terms as State Representative for District 88.

McAffrey was the first openly gay member of the Oklahoma legislature.

The 5th District of U.S. House of Representative includes most of Oklahoma County, Pottawatomie County and Seminole County.