By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — This November will see a three-way race for U.S. House of Representatives District 4, which serves the greater Cleveland County area.
Challenging five-term Republican incumbent Tom Cole are Independent candidate R.J. Harris and Democrat Donna Marie Bebo.
Cole, R-Moore, was elected to Congress in 2002. Among Cole’s committe appointments since 2009 are the House Appropriations Committee, the Subcommittees on Defense, Foreign Operations, and Interior and the House Budget Committee. Cole is a founding partner and past president of CHS & Associates, a nationally recognized political consulting and survey research firm based in Oklahoma City.
Bebo said she isn’t running because she has a career path to advance. She is asking for the opportunity to serve Oklahomans because she said truly cares about Oklahoma families. Bebo has worked as a waitress, clerk, utility locating technician and has held managerial positions, as she has trailed her Army husband to various duty posts.
This is Harris’ second bid for the District 4 seat. Harris is a career Army National Guard Officer having served on three combat tours and one peacekeeping tour.
Additionally, he has been a small business owner and an Air Traffic Controller in the Federal Aviation Administration.
The general election on Nov. 6 includes U.S. Congressional District 4.
Members of the U.S. House are elected every two years. The number of voting representatives in the House is fixed by law at no more than 435, proportionally representing the population of the 50 states. Oklahoma has five representatives. Cleveland County is part of District 4.
As per the Constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives makes and passes federal laws. The House is one of Congress’s two chambers — the other is the U.S. Senate — and part of the federal government’s legislative branch.
R.J. Harris: Harris is currently making his second bid for the U.S. Congress of Oklahoma’s 4th District against sitting Republican Congressman Cole. In 2012, Harris is running against Cole in the General Election as an Independent Constitutional Conservative.
Harris is a University of Oklahoma graduate in Philosophy and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He is a Constitutional Conservative and a leader in the nationwide grassroots Liberty Candidate.
RJ has appeared on Fox News’ Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano, before numerous Tea Party candidate panels and been the featured guest on conservative/libertarian talk-radio/blogger talk programs across the country.
Donna Marie Bebo: Bebo knows first-hand that achieving the American Dream isn’t always easy, but believes that all things worth achieving require taking a determined step forward. Bebo was born in Dubuque, Iowa, where early family life was a struggle, including the arrest of her father for child molestation.
During her teen years, Bebo reached out to other teens who were survivors of sexual abuse, using her experiences as a constant reminder that she could survive anything life threw her way.
Years later, Bebo appreciated the sacrifices her mother made when she became a single mother herself.
As an Army wife, Bebo has watched husband, Jason, deploy to Iraq and has counted the days until his return. Bebo is not a typical politician.
Rep. Tom Cole (incumbent): Cole has served as the State Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, District Director to former Congressman Mickey Edwards, a member of the State Senate, and Oklahoma’s Secretary of State.
A former college instructor in history and politics, Cole holds a B.A. from Grinnell College, an M.A. from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma.
He has been a Thomas Watson Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow at the University of London. He currently serves on the national Board of the Fulbright Association and is a member of the Congressional Advisory Board to the Aspen Institute.
Cole is a fifth generation Oklahoman and a member of the Chickasaw Nation. He is currently the only Native American serving in Congress.
He was awarded the Congressional Leadership award by the National Congress of American Indians in 2007 and was inducted in the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2004.
Cole and his wife Ellen, have one son, Mason, and live in Moore.
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