Senator Coburn's Hometown Muskogee Supports Decision To Retire

Friday, January 17th 2014, 11:29 pm
By: News On 6

Coburn's hometown of Muskogee is reflecting on 16 years of service in Washington. Family and friends all hope the Senator will come home to his medical practice.

In Muskogee, everyone knows Senator Coburn as Doctor Coburn. The doctors who share his Muskogee office say his presence in Washington was always felt back home.

1/16/14 Related Story: Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn To Resign After Current Session

Dr. Evan Cole, a colleague of Coburn said, "Washington didn't change him and to lose that influence and that voice in Washington is a loss I think."

Across from Muskogee's hospital you'll find the office of Dr. Tom Coburn, an OBGYN by trade. He's been the first human hands to deliver many into this world, but Dr. Coburn has been in Washington since 1995.

Serving as a Congressman and then in the Senate, friends of Coburn saw their hometown doctor fights hard to cure wasteful government spending.

"We all have a very high opinion of him for what he's stood for in Washington. For the principles that he has demonstrated, for his consistency, for his character," Cole said.

Dr. Cole worked alongside Coburn when he stepped away from his practice and decided to run for public office. Cole couldn't be more proud of the man who's served more than a decade in public office.

Coburn has prostate cancer, but is not blaming current health problems for stepping down.

The community of Muskogee, including his cousin, the mayor, is behind him.

"We, as a city, are proud of him. I'm proud of him, personally, just as a family member for someone who already had a career to stop in the middle of that and spend 15 years of that in Congress and in the Senate I think is a huge commitment," Mayor Bob Coburn said.

Jim Stobaugh, a patient of Coburn said, "It's an achievement and he's done it we'll. He's always excelled, I think, in whatever he's done."

Dr. Coburn's office has been flooded with phone calls from former patients wanting to get back on his schedule, even though there has been no indication the Senator would return to Muskogee and see patients.

A primary will be held this summer for Coburn's Senate Seat; the general election will be held in November.