McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

May 16, 2014

Undecided

Congress: District 2 representative seeks second term with uncertainty of a career in politics

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

— District 2 U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, says he hasn’t yet decided if he will seek more than a third term in Congress.

Mullin, who is currently seeking his second term in office, stopped by McAlester on Wednesday for a town hall meeting on the McAlester Campus of Eastern Oklahoma State College.

He spoke about the possibility of seeking more than a third term in response to a question from McAlester Mayor Steve Harrison, in the context of Mullin trying to develop more seniority in the U.S. House.

Harrison referred to the hurdles freshman legislators can face in the U.S. House and he noted how Oklahoma’s District 3 U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, had worked to get the Farm Bill passed.

Harrison said he’s aware that Lucas has encouraged Mullin to try to stay in Congress long enough to develop seniority of his own.

“How do you see that as far as your career path?” Harrison asked.

Mullin good-naturedly chided the McAlester mayor for putting him “on the spot.”

“I’m committed to six years,” Mullin said,

referring to statements he had made during his first campaign.

“I’m not saying I’m committed to getting out in six years,” Mullin said. However, he didn’t commit to running for a fourth term —considering if he’s still in office at the time — either.

Referring to his original statement about serving three two-year terms in office, Mullin said “I can’t guarantee what I’ll do beyond that.

“My wife and  I will really have to talk about it,” he said.

However, his initial plan to seek three terms has left him a way to see light at the end of the Washington D.C. tunnel, so to speak.

“I can’t imagine being up there and not knowing how long I’ll have to stay,” he said.

Mullin said he would decide that issue if and when the time comes — but he definitely wasn’t ready to commit as of Wednesday.

Mullin currently faces challenges from fellow Republican Darrel Roberstson in the upcoming June 24 Primary Election.

The winner of the Republican Primary will face the winner of the Democratic Primary between Earl Everett, of Ft. Gibson, and Joshua Harris, of Tahlequah, as well as Independent candidate Jon Douthitt, of Claremore, during the November 4 statewide General Election.

Next: Mullin on what to expect — and not to expect — from Washington.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.

com.