A Democratic presidential candidate visited Oklahoma Sunday to speak with community leaders and learn about the issues facing Oklahomans across the state.
Beto O’Rourke, candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination and former state representative of Texas’ 16th congressional district, met with Democratic leaders in Oklahoma City before visiting areas affected by severe flooding, according tweets from O’Rourke.
O’Rourke met with state Sen. Carri Hicks (D-40), Oklahoma County Commissioner Carrie Blumert and Oklahoma City Council member James Cooper. O’Rourke also met with Taz Al-Michael, College Democrats of Oklahoma president, Sache Primeaux-Shaw, Young Democrats of Oklahoma president, and Sarah Boone, High School Democrats of Oklahoma president.
Starting the morning by meeting with local leaders in Oklahoma City before being on the ground with communities that have been severely impacted by historic flooding across the state. pic.twitter.com/M06HYFPTBW— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 2, 2019
Al-Michael, also an OU junior, said meeting with O’Rourke and discussing issues facing Oklahomans was “exciting,” especially because Democratic presidential candidates have tended to overlook Oklahoma.
Al-Michael said O’Rourke was interested in learning more about political issues in Oklahoma and understanding how the federal government can best help local government and the state's citizens.
“He really wanted to understand what were the needs of Oklahomans, and what things can be addressed,” Al-Michael said. “A lot of the conversation focused on infrastructure and allowing local control over some of that, infrastructure projects, and ensuring that we’re empowering our legislators and community workers to do a lot of that good work.”
Al-Michael said the group discussed other issues and the results and effects of the 2018 election, including the election of U.S. Congresswoman Kendra Horn (D-5).
“We talked a lot about health care, education, what voter turnout looks like in Oklahoma. We talked about what the results of the 2018 election looked like, you know, having our first Democratic congresswoman,” Al-Michael said.
O’Rourke later visited Sand Springs to speak with those recovering from what he described as “an historic flood” in a tweet.
On the ground in Sand Springs to meet with those who are not only recovering from an historic flood but who are preparing their community for the next. Our thanks to the volunteers in Oklahoma who quickly came from across the country to step up and help. pic.twitter.com/JUaypfWolg— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) June 2, 2019
Al-Michael said one of his priorities is making sure that O’Rourke and other Democratic presidential candidates return to visit Oklahoma during the campaign cycle.
“It’s one of my priorities to bring him to the state of Oklahoma, especially on some of our college campuses, so that college students, young people have the first touch to meet with somebody like him.”