Following is the prepared text of the speech given by Senator Jay Paul Gumm as he announced his candidacy for re-election to the Oklahoma Senate. The senator announced for re-election at a standing-room-only campaign kick-off held Monday, September 14, 2009, at Sports City Cafe in Durant.
SENATOR GUMM: Eight years ago, many of us gathered to begin a campaign to create a brighter future by building on the progress of the past. We knew then what some of the challenges were going to be; some challenges were unlike any we have ever faced. Together, we built the brighter future we envisioned.
The world, our nation, and our state are different now than we began this journey together. Still, the keys to a renewed vision of a brighter future are what they have always been: better jobs, improved education, and real tax relief.
In the past eight years, we have come far. As our nation and state are in the grips of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, our state in general and our area in particular have remained strong.
While our neighbors in other states have seen dreams stolen and hope destroyed by the economic challenges of these times, the policies we have championed – economic development, lower taxes, improved schools – have ensured we will be the first out of this recession.
In times such as these, we dare not waver in our work or our commitment to a brighter future. In times such as these, we dare not slow in the drive to create our own destiny. In times such as these, we must continue to turn every challenge into opportunity.
I stand before you today, ready to renew my commitment to the people of Atoka, Bryan, Coal,Johnston and Marshall counties – to fight for a future that is limited only by our dreams. That kind of future does not happen by accident. It takes hard work, it takes courage, and it takes leadership. It takes someone who is willing to give everything they have for the people they wish to serve.
That is the record on which I stand as I declare that I will be a candidate for re-election to the Oklahoma Senate.
We must tell the world – time and time again – that there is no better place to live, work and raise a family. We must support families, we must defend freedom and we must create opportunity.
We have much to be thankful for. Still, we must never become satisfied with the way things are. No longer must we allow “good enough” to be good enough. Our lives are too short and our challenges are too great to settle for anything less than the best the future has to offer.
We must dream of a future that is limited –only by the strength of our souls and the dedication of our hearts. My friends, I pledge to continue putting every bit of my ability and my energy to making rural Oklahoma even better – for today and in the future.
As we begin this journey again, I once again ask you for your vote, your support and – most importantly – your prayers. Together, our struggle begins anew, our dreams rise to the challenge, and our work to create a brighter future will never end.
So, let the word go forth that we together we are beginning a new journey to create a brighter future for ourselves and the generations that will follow.
Thank you – THANK YOU – for being here and God bless each one of you, our great state and may God bless the United States of America.