Tulsa man declares U.S. Senate bid


Saturday, January 26th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Labeling incumbent Republican Jim Inhofe ``a divisive figure,'' Tulsa author and attorney Tom Boettcher announced he is running for the Democratic nomination for Inhofe's U.S. Senate post.

``I can do better. I believe I can make a difference,'' Boettcher said. ``My upbringing, education and life experiences have prepared me to represent Oklahoma honorably and effectively in these challenging times.''

Boettcher, 57, has been in the publishing business for most of his adult life. He was editor and publisher of Oklahoma Monthly, a general interest publication, and Trade and Culture, a guide for corporate executives.

He is married to Pam Olson, a former White House correspondent for CNN and television anchorwoman for KWTV in Oklahoma City.

Boettcher said he is confident he will be able to raise the money and support to compete with David Walters, the former governor who also is in the race.

He said he was asked to consider the Senate race more than a year ago by ``some Oklahoma political figures who, quite frankly, were galled by the idea that Gov. Walters, given his problems in the past'' was considering running.

Boettcher said the focus of his campaign, however, will be Inhofe.

``It is my view, and the view of people I have talked to, that Sen. Inhofe is a divisive figure in Oklahoma politics'' who can't work with diverse groups to accomplish goals.

One reason he is running, Boettcher said, is that too few Oklahomans ``share in the prosperity that is available in America. We need to broaden the base of prosperity, and that implies that we have to work together to do that.''

``I'm proud of what I do as an attorney,'' Boettcher said. ``I help working people. I help people who are injured on the job.''

At the same time, he said he has run businesses and knows the problems that business people face in trying to create jobs.

He said the Enron Corp. disaster is an example of unbridled corporate power and the iniquities working people face in the market place.

``I'm proud to be an advocate of middle-class families,'' he said.