GROVE – Josh West, a conservative husband, father and combat veteran, today announced his candidacy for the open District 5 seat in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
After serving in the U.S. Army for nine years and medically retired with honors including the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star (V), West returned to his hometown of Grove to live and raise his family.
““I have felt called my entire life to serve others in the protection of our freedom. Having the privilege to represent this district in the state Legislature would be an extension of that mission,” West said.
West said the Obama administration and other Washington, D.C. bureaucrats are robbing Oklahomans of their freedoms and trampling states’ rights.
“I realize that the battle for freedom is here at home as well as abroad,” West said. “Veterans like me did not serve and sacrifice only to return home to see politicians robbing us of liberties in our own communities.”
West said he is pro-life and believes in the sanctity of traditional marriage. He is a member of the National Rifle Association and a lifetime member of both the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
“Oklahoma continues to have to deal with the damage left by the Obama administration and its liberal allies,” West added. “In order to accomplish this, we need strong, principled leaders who will not back down in defense of our freedom.”
Josh and his wife, Elizabeth, who also is a veteran that served in the U.S. Air Force, have four children: Ethan, 8, Walker, 7, Katie, 2 and Aubrey, 1. West graduated from Grove High School in 1995. He then attended Missouri Valley College on an athletic scholarship before deciding his mission was to serve in the U.S. Army.
West served tours of duty in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2003, West was injured during a mission where he repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire to remove the threat of enemy fighters in the protection of innocent civilians. Additionally, West assisted in moving his injured battalion commander’s body to safety after he was injured in the line of duty.
During the incident, West was shot in both legs and in his abdomen. He spent the next year in physical therapy to regain the use of his legs. West was medically retired in 2005, but then spent a year as a civilian developing training protocol for Military Police during basic training and Advanced Individual Training.
Since West has been home, he has continued to advocate for Veterans through his service with the VFW. West understands the importance of the agriculture industry to our local area and for the last three years he has worked in management for Simmons foods.
West is a member of Elk River Baptist Church. He has been a little league coach for his son’s baseball team for three years and currently is a coach with the Grove 2nd Grade football team.
West is a strong advocate for local control in education and for reducing burdensome red tape that interferes with the quality of education.
“I want to work to improve our schools in the Grand Lake area; to protect them from Common Core and also from excessive mandates handed down by the state Legislature,” he added. “We have to pay our teachers more, but also become more
efficient and require results in our student performance. This is all best decided and managed at the state and local level.”
The district has been represented by state Rep. Doug Cox. However due to term limits, Cox cannot run again and the seat is open. “It will be impossible to replace Representative Cox, but I will work to ensure I use the same level of integrity in accomplishing our Delaware and Mayes County goals,” West said.