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UPDATE: McAffrey Formally Announces U.S. House Candidacy

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Oklahoma State Senate
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A Democratic state senator from Oklahoma City formally announced his candidacy Thursday for the 5th Congressional District seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankford.

State Sen. Al McAffrey formally unveiled his plans during a 1 p.m. press conference at the Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City.

“Every Oklahoman deserves to have their voice be heard in Washington. That hasn’t been happening for a while now,” McAffrey said in a statement. “I'm running for Congress to bring some good old-fashioned Oklahoma common-sense to a place that desperately needs it.”

McAffrey is a U.S. Navy veteran and former Oklahoma City police officer who became the first openly gay person elected to the Oklahoma Legislature when he won his state House seat in 2006. He was elected to the state Senate in 2012.

McAffrey will be forced to give up his Senate seat in order to run for the U.S. House.

He's among more than a half-dozen candidates who have announced plans to seek the post.

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