Jerry Curry, 34 year Army vet, wants to serve again: as President

General Jerry Ralph Curry served 34 years in the U.S. Army, and how, at the age of 76, he wants to be president. He is one of the 18 candidates on Oklahoma’s Feb.5 presidential primary ballot.

In a face-to-face encounter, Curry looks like a man in his 50s. The son of a steelworker, Curry enlisted in the Army during the Korean Conflict. Starting as a buck private, he embarked on a career that left him a major general. Curry has mixed African, European and American Indian ancestry.

Praised for his leadership and acumen during his military career, Curry was an advisor at different times to President Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush. Curry worked at the Pentagon during the Carter years, as well, and was administrator of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration two decades ago.

Our exchange of views, during an interview at an Oklahoma City restaurant, included warm mutual recollections of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. I interviewed Weinberger in the 1980s, when Gen. Curry served in the Pentagon’s media relations operation and the two men worked for President Ronald Reagan. I found "Cap" one of the most knowledgeable people I ever met in the nation’s capital, and Curry holds his former boss in high esteem.

In our recent interview for Tulsa Today, Curry insisted he’s not on a Quixotic venture. Reasonably, he said he still had time to make several state ballots. A good showing in Oklahoma resulting in a delegate votes at this summer’s Republican convention, combined with a deadlocked national party, is the scenario for Gen. Curry to make a bigger splash on the national stage.

Curry has planned a series of Oklahoma events that he hopes will catapult his campaign onto the national stage. H will speak at the University of Oklahoma’s Meacham Auditorium in the Student Union on Wed., Jan 23 at 4 p.m., then will be a featured speaker at the annual Helen Cole Banquet at Norman’s J.D. McCarty Center the next evening.

Curry speaks simply and directly without soaring eloquence, reminding me at times of the late Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Dewey Bartlett. He exudes integrity and sincerity, regardless of one’s views about all his positions.

Commentator George Archibald, a conservative writer, commented on Curry a few weeks ago: "Curry has been encouraged by many on the Republican side to enter the presidential race. … He has commanded military bases throughout the world and is a proven leader. Both he and his wife, Charlene, have written eloquent books that spell out their claim to the mantles of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan."

An enthusiast for Curry’s candidacy is Bobby Cleveland of Norman, a well-known conservative activist in the GOP. Cleveland told Tulsa Today, "Now Republicans don’t have to settle for the lesser of two or more evils."

In a recent email sent to party activists statewide, Cleveland wrote, "The American people are crying out for a proven leader who can fix our problems, guarantee national security, and heal our land." Cleveland insists he has found that man: "Retired U.S. Army General Jerry R. Curry is a healer and a strong leader who has honed his leadership skills on the battlefield and in the federal government."

Curry received good coverage in a recent news story for The Oklahoman, the state’s largest newspaper. Reporter Michael McNutt treated the long-shot candidate with respect. After spending some time with him, it’s clear Gen. Curry is a serious, contemplative and decent man.

More information on Curry and his views is available at his campaign website:

About the Author:
Patrick B. McGuigan is the author of two books and the editor of seven, including “Law, Economics & Civil Justice: A Reform Agenda” (1994) and “Crime & Punishment in Modern America (1986). He is an editor at The City Sentinel (an Oklahoma City weekly) and a regular contributor to Tulsa Today.