Boren departure could mean all-GOP state delegation
BY World's Editorial Writers
Thursday, June 09, 2011
6/09/11 at 3:58 AM
With the upcoming departure of 2nd District U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, a Democrat, Oklahoma will come ever closer to having an all-Republican delegation. Already, Republicans dominate the statehouse, and in 2010 voters elected Republicans to all major state offices.
For most of its history Democrats dominated Oklahoma politics, with a shift starting in the past dozen years. Boren's father, University of Oklahoma President David Boren, served as a U.S. senator in a federal delegation made up almost entirely of Democrats. The younger Boren comes from a fabled Oklahoma political dynasty.
No one could accuse either David or Dan Boren of being liberals or even moderates. They are conservative Democrats. But that might not have been enough in 2012 in even the most Democratic of Oklahoma's House districts. Given his name, conservatism and incumbency, Dan Boren would have stood a good chance of keeping his seat, but he would have had stiff competition.
In his announcement Tuesday, Boren said he had no immediate plans.
For the younger Boren, serving in the House has been a mixed bag. Until the Democrats lost the U.S. House in 2010, Boren was part of the conservative Blue Dog Democrats, whose members often found themselves at odds with the liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. As a Blue Dog, Boren was in the minority in his own party. After Republicans regained the House in the last election, Boren found himself in the political minority.
Boren says that he would not rule out a future run for office, maybe even governor, a post his father once held. He might have a long wait. Gov. Mary Fallin undoubtedly will seek a second term, and, unless the political tide changes, a Democrat capturing the governorship in seven years is iffy.
Boren gave his reasons for not seeking a fifth term as one given by many politicians in these difficult times: the need for relentless campaigning and fundraising and too much time in Washington, D.C., away from families. Boren has two small children.
Was Boren an effective representative for the 2nd District? He was as effective as the political times allowed. Voters, who returned him to office last year with 57 percent of the vote, will miss him.
And, after 2012 it will be unfamiliar territory for Oklahomans, who've grown accustomed over most of the past 60 or more years to having a "Boren" in political office.
Original Print Headline: Boren's exit