In announcing his candidacy for Tom Coburn's vacant Senate seat on Thursday, USAO professor Dr. Kevin Crow appealed to the Grady County Tea Party crowd that he is not and will not become like the "career politicians" that he said have lost touch with citizens.
"I have had to face the consequences of others' policies my whole life," Crow said. "In other words, I have had to eat a lot of poo; I don't have a taste for it."
Instead of accepting the fact that this is the first time Crow, who teaches history at USAO and had about a dozen students at the meeting on Thursday, has run for public office as a disadvantage, he spent much of his speech explaining how this is beneficial to voters.
"We are creating a government class that daily grows more separate from its citizens," Crow said. "[A republic] does not belong to corporations, special interest groups, or a government class. It belongs to us."
He also took a few opportunities to attack his opponents in the spring Republican primary. Crow said T.W. Shannon, the former Oklahoma House Speaker, has a history of strictly politics, while he also attacked District 5 Rep. James Lankford's voting record.
Specifically, Crow stated that he would never vote in favor of any amnesty program for the millions of illegal immigrants currently in the US, saying it would create "10 million competitors for American workers." He questioned Lankford's dedication to such a stance.
He also said he would never be in favor of sending US troops to fight overseas unless there was a direct threat to the nation.
In what are still early days in his campaign, Crow tried to strike a chord with a group of voters who express exhaustion with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and the need for strict fiscal policy. He stopped short of being the ultimate answer to their problems, though.
"I'm not going to start my campaign with a lie," he said. "I'm not going to 'fix' Washington. I will put the people of Oklahoma first, and I will remind the people in Washington who they are accountable for. That will upset people on both sides of the aisle."