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Oklahoma Dems Invigorated By Biden-Harris Inauguration

Oklahoma Democratic Party
Alicia Andrews, chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, during a Zoom press conference following President Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Leaders of the Oklahoma Democratic Party said Wednesday they were elated and moved by watching the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. 

"We are celebrating this with jubilation," said party chair Alicia Andrews on a Zoom press conference. "Today, we saw the ushering in of a hope personified by President Biden and Vice President Harris."

Tulsa County Democratic Party Chair Amanda Swope said she was particularly moved watching the swearing-in of Harris, who will be the first woman, first Black person and first person of Indian and Asian descent to hold the office of the vice presidency.

"As a young woman, I think that I've waited to see a moment like that take place in America my entire life," Swope said. "It's beautiful to see women in America reach new heights in leadership. It's great to see the diversity that was there."

Twan Jones, party chair for Oklahoma's first congressional district, said he believes in Biden's character.

"We're proud that we have a president now that believes in the United States of America," Jones said, "and not a president who has no moral compass."

"In Oklahoma, we have to face the reality and the true fact that we have a lot of racists here," Jones said.

"And when you look at the leadership that we have in Washington, D.C.," Jones said, referring to the state's Congressional delegation, "they continue to promote the divisive nature of the outgoing president. That is insane."

Andrews acknowledged Oklahoma overwhelmingly supported former President Donald Trump in the election -- and also that many believed false claims about election fraud and conspiracy theories that he did not lose the election.

"Shame on them," Andrews said of the state and national Republican parties. "It has been decided, and the fact that we have a thing that we call the 'big lie' rests squarely with the Republican party, both nationwide and here in Oklahoma."

Without specifying what it would look like, Andrews said "accountability" is necessary before Biden's stated goal of unity can be achieved.

The Oklahoma Republican Party and the Tulsa County Republican Party both did not respond to multiple requests for an answer to the question of whether or not they acknowledge Biden was the legitimate winner of a free and fair American election. Both have referenced "Stop the Steal," a rallying cry for Trump supporters who believe the former president's baseless claims of a stolen or rigged election, in social media posts.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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