Updated: Jim Bridenstine won the Republican nomination to the First Congressional District of Oklahoma with 54 percent of the vote Tuesday in a hotly contested battle with five-term incumbent John Sullivan.
In an exclusive Tulsa Today interview this morning Bridenstine said, “As is true in American politics these days, this was a close election that we only won by a few percentage points which was significant, but the incumbent gathered 46 percent of the vote. A lot of voters went different directions.”
Bridinstine said, “John Sullivan has represented Oklahoma honorably. I don’t know what went into everyone’s decision, but there is a growing sentiment across the country that America needs new leadership. Democrats and Republicans have both been spending recklessly and people are looking for leaders that are willing to get the budget under control. We must solve the fiscal monetary crisis so we can get the economy growing again.
“The interests of the 1st District cannot be separated from those of our nation as a whole. Congressmen who seek earmarks, tax preferences, bailouts and subsidized ‘job creation’ within their districts using federal money do so at the cost of similar deals for every Congressman’s District. We’re creating money out of thin air to fund massive federal deficits. We must achieve a balanced budget and stop destroying the value of the U.S. dollar, so that capital will once again be attracted to the United States. I hope to put in place a simple, understandable tax system. We need to restore reason and predictability to federal laws and regulations so that individuals and companies can confidently plan and invest in America and in Oklahoma’s 1st District,” Bridenstine added.
Bridenstine, 37, is a lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve. He is a graduate of Jenks High School and earned a triple major from Rice University and an MBA from Cornell University. He was also executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. He is married to Michelle (Ivory) Bridenstine and the couple has three children Walker (5), Sarah (3), and they expect another child in February. The family attends South Tulsa Baptist Church.
“America’s national security crisis is the deficit,” Bridenstine said. “We have to get that under control to build a prosperous future and maintain a strong national security. Today, America is cutting national security funding because of the deficit crisis and that is also hurting our economy.
“As many are aware, the so-called Super Committee to address the budget deficit set up automatic cuts to the defense department that were meant to be so draconian and unpalatable-for-most that they were not expected to go into force, but they are happening as a result of Congressional cowardice to cut spending elsewhere,” Bridenstine said.
When asked about the Congressional investigation of the failed “Fast and Furious” program of Attorney General Eric Holder, Bridenstine said, “I believe it is perfectly appropriate for the House of Representatives to investigate Holder on that issue. That investigation is a process that will have to play out and I have not been involved, but I am following the latest events as they develop.
When asked about Health Care reform Bridenstine said, “Obamacare should be repealed. The Supreme Court should rule it unconstitutional because the individual mandate is unconstitutional. Regardless, it should be set aside because it will break the budget which is already an economic disaster.”
“There are a great many folks that have benefit plans from their employers and, should they become eligible for Obamacare, their employers will drop them from those private plans which will put an even greater burden on the taxpayer. I am fairly confident the Supreme Court will reject the entire bill because everything hinges on the individual mandate,” Bridenstine said.
“The objective of health care reform is a financially sustainable effort that guarantees health care decisions are made between patients and doctors, not by federal bureaucrats,” Bridenstine added.
“I’m running for Congress because our nation is in a state of extreme crisis jeopardizing the future of our children and grandchildren. Multiple Congresses and Administrations, Democrat and Republican, have made irresponsible, politically motivated decisions that will burden future generations of Americans with unprecedented debt, diminished economic opportunity and reduced national security. By failing to respect the U.S. Constitution, we have embarked on a path toward diminished freedom and liberty.
In summary Bridenstine said, "My priorities are fundamental. We must: 1.) Get the economy back on track by controlling spending, 2.) Get national defense back on track because the world is not getting any safer."
The general election will be held November 6. Democrat John Olson and Independent Craig Allen are also qualified on the ballot.