Lone Oklahoma Democrat in Congress will not run again

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 07, 2011 8:08 PM
Lone Oklahoma Democrat in Congress will not run again

By Steve Olafson

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - The only Oklahoma Democrat in Congress said on Tuesday that he will not run for re-election next year.

Rep. Dan Boren, a moderate Democrat elected in 2004, said the decision was difficult but that he wanted to spend more time with his wife and two young children.

Oklahoma's other six representatives to the House are Republicans, as are the state's two Senators.

Boren isn't ruling out a return to politics at some point, but he said he has grown tired of the travel and near-constant campaigning and fund-raising necessary to stay in office.

"I'm thinking like 10 or 15 years" from now, he told Reuters. "I'm only 37."

His dream job, he said, would be governor of Oklahoma, but he said he will not run against Mary Fallin, a Republican who is the state's first female governor.

In Washington, Boren is part of the Congressional Blue Dogs Caucus, a relatively conservative Democratic group.

The Republican Party has approached him many times over the years to switch parties, he said, but he has resisted.

"I just think I'm a Democrat more than a Republican. I'm a centrist," he said.

It will be challenging for the Democratic Party to keep the district, Boren said.

About 65 percent of the voters in the district are registered Democrats, but Republican presidential candidates have carried the district in the past three national elections.

Boren, who will leave office in about 17 months, serves on the Armed Services Committee and the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

He lives in Muskogee with his wife Andrea and their two children, Janna, 4, and Hunter, 8 months.

Boren's father, Democrat David S. Boren, was governor of Oklahoma, represented the state in the Senate and is now president of Oklahoma University; his late grandfather, Lyle H. Boren, served in the House from 1937 to 1947.

(Editing by Corrie MacLaggan and Greg McCune)