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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke visits Oklahoma, meets with local Democratic leaders after "historic flood"

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Democratic nomination candidate Beto O'Rourke (right) speaks with Taz Al-Michael, president of the College Democrats of Oklahoma.

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.

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.

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.”

Scott Kirker is a letters and Spanish senior and assistant news managing editor for The Daily. Previously he worked as summer editor-in-chief and as a news reporter covering research and administrative searches.

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