Copan, Ok May, 4 (The Oklahoma Post) –
Brandon Wade is an Oklahoman. Raised in the wide-open countryside of Washington County. Well, in Copan to be exact; a tiny oil and gas town tucked away in the green rolling prairies of the northeastern part of the state. The community situated fourteen miles north of Bartlesville with a population count as high as its elevation; the small community and it’s values have made the Senate candidate what he is today.
The local Democrat has announced that he will be running for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by James Lankford. Wade says he has a calling to run for the open seat and will be focusing on education, affordable healthcare, and women’s rights. The Democratic primary election is June 28, while the general election for the vacant Senate seat is slated for Nov. 8.
We were given the opportunity to speak with the one-time Tulsa Ok Toughman champ and hear what the Senate Candidate had to say to voters about winning his campaign, and his plans to be a champion for all Oklahomans while in Washington, D.C.
Getting To Know The Candidate
Robertson: I understand you are from Copan, Ok. I too was raised in a small town in Oklahoma, so I know it tends to give a different perspective on community. Tell me about your background and what makes you click?
Candidate Wade: Well, I grew up in northeast Oklahoma, Washington County. I live in Bartlesville now, where I was born. Then raised in Copan, graduated from Copan Highschool. Just a little small rural town on the Kansas border. So I’m just a normal small town…you know..
Robertson: Just A Small Town Okie?
Candidate Wade: That’s exactly right (laughing). We tend to have small-town values and a normal way of life just like every other Oklahoman.
Robertson: So, Conoco Phillips is in Bartlesville. It’s a well-known Oil and Gas community. My auntie and uncle worked for them as scientists for 30 years. I think most people in Bartlesville have some involvement in the Oil and Gas industry. What has your involvement been in the Oklahoma Oil and Gas industry?
Candidate Wade: I am a proud third-generation union worker for a well-known Oil and Gas company Schlumberger. My whole family has worked in the field or for REDA electric submersible pumps at one time or another. That company was eventually acquired by Schlumberger in an acquisition back in 1998. Schlumberger’s relationship with REDA pumps goes back 100 years nearly. So, it’s been a part of my life, my family, as most Oklahomans.
So currently, I still work with Schlumberger, but my full-time job right now is running for U.S. Senate so I can better represent the citizens of my Oklahoma district.
Robertson: You know one of the things we spoke about in the past is Oklahoma’s water quality and how we really need to improve it. What are some of the ways in which you would work to improve Oklahoma’s water quality if elected?
Candidate Wade: Integration of our policy at the national level with our State. I’d like to see better partnerships. Many states have much more involvement with the environment as assisted in cooperation with D.C. Our federal tax dollars are there for environmental protection so we can all eat the fish from these great waters. And, we have water here, while many states are struggling to fill the water towers. I’d like to sit down with more people to build partnerships.
And with that, we have great energy companies here that are good neighbors. As they try to find new, cleaner energy, I’d like to be there in the conversation.
Robertson: Did you play any sports growing up? Any special skills you’d like to share?
Candidate Wade: Yeah, growing up in that little town up there we played every sport we had in public schools. Football, couldn’t wait for two-a-days to start. We’d play football through the heat of the fall, then straight into basketball, then track. Played everything I could. I’ve picked up a little kickboxing after I graduated and that led to other fun events.
Robertson: I feel like I’m missing something. You left out a detail. (pulls out a photo of Toughman belt) What year was this taken?
Candidate Wade: Ha! Yes, Oklahoma Toughman. Really? Ok, I did win the Oklahoma Toughman competition many years ago. Got bored and had to find something to do. Shout out to Team Randy Rouse kickboxing.
Robertson: ( Checkbox ) Candidate can defend self against rioters at the Capitol. Good. Could you speak on Employee Unions in Oklahoma and their importance for a majority of Oklahomans?
Candidate Wade: Sure, I’m a member of IUOE Local 151 which was chartered in 1941 and is an autonomous affiliate of the International Union of Operating Engineers, whose total membership is approximately 400,000. Our local headquarters is based out of Borger, Tx. They are a membership group and represent a lot of factory workers scattered throughout Oklahoma. People that want their employers to treat them fairly.
I’m a working-class third-generation oil industry worker, that understands the struggles the working class of America is facing. I’m a proud Union member for over 22 years. I have experience with negotiating contracts for the things our members want and deserve. I have been the Committee chairman for my local for over 10 of those years. I also have served on our Executive Board with the Union for just as long. I understand how to work with others to come to an agreement that can benefit all sides. I believe I can take this experience to the Senate and put it to work for the working class.
Robertson: What is a big issue you are concerned with?
Candidate Wade: Unfortunately there are many issues we could discuss. We can in the future. We must stand and fight together to save our democracy. We can no longer sit back and allow our rights to be taken away. I believe we must get back to a government for the people by the people! This has been forgotten for far to long. I think it is time to forget the political parties and work together to make this country better for the citizens. To do this we must listen to the people of this country and do the things that they send us to the office to do.
I believe we must ensure everyone can have quality education and not be in a mountain of debt to get it. Education is a must at all levels no matter who or where you are from. We must educate our youth because they are our future.
I believe healthcare is a right! We must provide healthcare for every US citizen in the greatest country in the world. We must get control of the pharmaceutical industry as well. We have to ensure that our people are able to afford their medication. We have to demand that pharmaceutical companies give us prescription drugs at the lowest cost we can. People should never have to choose between their medication or other needs for their families.
We must fight to ensure every single citizen of this country of legal age has access to vote. We should be making this process easier not harder. I’m asking the voter, please stand with me as I stand with you in our fight to save our democracy.
Reactions To Trending Headlines
Robertson: Thoughts on Abortion?
I will always fight for women’s rights. What is happening to our women in this country is unacceptable and we have to fight to stop it before it is too late! Every woman should have the right to choose what they do with their body. This is a basic human right and we can’t allow it to be taken away. I stand with our women in their fight for their rights! Voting is another right of all citizens in this country. This is what makes our democracy and has to be protected at all costs.
Robertson: You as a Man, why do you feel you can speak on the matter?
Candidate Wade: I’ll definitely jump into this. I am married to a great woman, daughters, nieces, and cousins..and as their family, this definitely is a big deal to me. I was shocked and almost speechless the way this has unfolded and I’m not happy. I support women’s rights. I mean you can’t stand by and be silent. You are no better than the person that is trying to remove a right from somebody or cause them harm. It is a huge decision and a tough decision to make. I just don’t see how a man or the government, who doesn’t have a great track record, should be telling women how to care for their bodies. There are circumstances that weigh in on that heavily, that other people don’t know, and frankly, it’s not their right to know what those circumstances are.
You know, looking at what is occurring around us, what I see are future unsafe environments for these procedures to take place. Now, my campaign certainly wants to address this issue head-on. We have to. The future constituents in the state that can’t afford legal and safe abortions are going to find a way to have the procedure anyway out of desperation…in an unsafe environment if one is not provided. Any overturn of Wade discriminates against the impoverished, people of color, and women in general.
I stand firmly behind a woman’s right to make a choice for what they do with their body, I feel that the right to choose is a basic human right. All of us should have the right to make medical decisions for ourselves, and this medical issue shouldn’t be any different. I don’t want to see a single person lose a right to them that this country guarantees. Ever.
Robertson: What are the major points of your campaign going to be as these blistering headlines keep appearing?
Candidate Wade: Of course. Being a first-time candidate, getting to know the voters, and letting them get to know me is the most important thing. It’s important to get out and meet as many Oklahomans as possible and I want to have those real conversations with constituents. I want to get those conversations going so that they have something worthy to vote for, other than straight party-line voting. I hope to reach enough people so they see who I am, know what I am, and the truth that I want to work for the Oklahoma people. Where the voters will at a minimum consider their future and freedom, vs a straight party ticket.
The other side of that is we need to get our Democrats and Independents registered to vote. To do that, we need Oklahoma to really rally behind the great candidates before them and get out to vote.
I think so much of it is about being a lifelong Oklahoman v. people that are not from this state and caring deeply about our people. We are wanting to make a change for everyday Oklahomans like my family and work to be a U.S. Senator that actually gives a darn about everyday Oklahomans and not big business. The worker. They need infrastructure, and internet, it’s 2022 and we don’t have internet in many parts of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City if you can believe that. How do those kids’ school districts provide the education they deserve when the tools aren’t there for them.
Funding public education here in Oklahoma is important.
Then, access to health care is another issue on the horizon, cost of healthcare and access to excellent healthcare in rural areas. They deserve better.
James Lankford never was and certainly is no longer a correct representative for Oklahoma in 2023 and forward. Oklahoma’s problems are too big to hand over to a candidate that is going to move so far away from his constituents that we can’t recognize him.
Robertson: Alright Champ! Time for TWO MINUTE DRILL, let’s roll this up: fast and first answer.
Candidate Wade: Let’s do it.
Robertson: Favorite College Sports Team?
Candidate Wade: Sooners! Softball, Basketball, and Football.
Robertson: Favorite Pro Sports Team?
Candidate Wade: I am a watcher of NFL players now. I was a Cleveland Browns fan until the Baker drama. So, I’m still up in the air on my team.
Robertson: Favorite Classic Rock or MoTown Band?
Candidate Wade: I like so much music…ughh Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Robertson: Favorite Charity?
Candidate Wade: Make A Wish Oklahoma. It is amazing the work they do for Oklahomans.
I appreciate you sitting down with me Mr. Wade. I look forward to speaking again and learning more about what your goals and plans are if elected. I believe you represent the best qualities of Oklahoma. Best of luck.
For anyone wanting to learn more about Brandon’s campaign, you can reach him through the links on the infobox at the top of this article.
(Writing by Robbie Robertson; Editing by Robbie Robertson)
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