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Central Oklahoma Teacher, Pastor To Challenge Cole In 4th District GOP Primary

Oklahoma Fourth District Republican Congressional Candidate James Taylor

An Oklahoma City middle school teacher who's also a church pastor in Norman filed paperwork Monday to challenge U.S. Rep. Tom Cole in Oklahoma's Fourth Congressional District primary this summer.

James Taylor teaches at Roosevelt Middle School in southwest Oklahoma City. The school is predominantly Hispanic and more than 90 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

“Everyday [sic], I get the opportunity to teach students who have next to nothing about America’s rich history and the people who rose from adversity to pursue the American Dream,” Taylor said in a statement.  “However, I realized that unless real, conservative, change happens in our government, I will no longer be able to teach that ‘hope of a brighter future’ to our next generation.”

Taylor is the author of the book It’s Biblical, Not Political! How to Line Candidates Up Biblically, described by Mustang-based Tate Publishing as a “conservative manifesto on how to vote with God's perspective.” Taylor called Cole a Washington insider and blamed him for increased federal spending.

“For the past 13 years, the 4th District has been represented by Congressman Cole and his liberal votes,” Taylor said. “Oklahoma is one of the most conservative states in the country and it’s time that we have a Congressman whose votes reflects [sic] our conservative values.”

Cole took office in 2003. Oklahoma's Congressional primary election takes place June 28. A runoff would take place August 23 if it's necessary, although in the last three primaries Cole has received 88, 84, and 77 percent of the vote against Republican challengers.

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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