Patrick B. McGuigan
OKLAHOMA CITY — Tom Guild, running again for the Fifth District Congressional seat, hopes his third time is a charm. In the June 24 Democratic primary, Guild faces state Senator Al McAffrey.
Two years ago, Guild was the nominee against U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, garnering the highest number of votes (97,504) for any Democrat seeking the seat in over two decades.
He first sought the party nod in 2010, losing to attorney Billy Coyle, who then lost to Lankford in his first run for Congress.
Guild continues with a low-budget but high intensity campaign. After knocking on some 15,208 doors, making some 11,000 phone calls, and speaking at several candidate forums, he has raised about $63,000 from more than 1,100 individual contributors.
The emeritus political science professor (27 years at University of Central Oklahoma; three years at OCU) says he is not daunted by the challenge.
Guild is stressing progressive policy goals, saying the nation needs “to protect Medicare and do whatever is necessary to strengthen and improve a great program that affords dependable health care to millions of American seniors. We should not turn Medicare into a voucher program, instead of the current guaranteed benefits, which will weaken and destroy the program. Medicare has lowered the poverty rate of seniors from thirty percent in 1965 to 7.5 percent today.”
He calls for Social Security’s preservation, “by strengthening and not privatizing. Privatization would weaken, defund, and destroy the most popular and effective social program in U.S. history. Social Security has kept untold millions of Americans out of poverty in their golden years.”
Guild supports “adequate” public education funding, to “create good paying jobs, fulfilling careers, and economic development.” Public schools are “the great equalizer, a great democratic American institution. They give all children the opportunity to work hard and realistically expect to achieve their American dreams.”
Strong education will “strengthen our democracy. This will allow Americans to compete in the world marketplace for the best and highest paying careers for our citizens, and make America competitive in international commerce.” Guild asserts, “As we strengthen education, we strengthen our country and secure our place in the world economy.
Support for public education will do more for our country and its citizens than any single thing we can do.”
In a wide-ranging discussion with CapitolBeatOK, Guild repeated his past strong support for military veterans, saying Americans “must keep out commitments to those who have kept our country safe.” Guild asserts, “As we strengthen education, we strengthen our country and secure our place in the world economy. Support for public education will do more for our country and its citizens than any single thing we can do.”
Senator McAfrfrey his top issues were “minimum wage and campaign finance reform.” He also said his would be “paying attention to the issues. Not the party. Working with both parties and not becoming obstructionist.”
McAffrey served in the state House for four years, before winning his state Senate seat in central Oklahoma County. He is a military veteran, and was the first openly gay man elected to the Oklahoma Legislature.