WEATHERFORD, Okla. — In a historic announcement, three of Oklahoma’s largest agriculture organizations—American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR), Oklahoma Farm Bureau Federation (OKFB), and Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA)—have collectively endorsed Sen. Darcy Jech (R-Kingfisher) for Oklahoma Senate District 26. The announcement was made Aug. 1, 2022, at Lucille’s Roadhouse in Weatherford, Okla.
The collective endorsement is a rare move for the organizations. The political action committees for AFR, OKFB and OCA each endorse candidates sparingly. When endorsements are made, they are typically individual to each organization.
All three agriculture organizations emphasized Jech’s devotion to District 26 and rural Oklahoma at large in their endorsements.
“Darcy has proven himself a true champion for not only agriculture, but also our rural schools, our rural businesses, and our rural communities,” said AFR Cooperative President and AFR PAC Committee Chairman Scott Blubaugh. “He’s a man of integrity and honesty.
“Most importantly, Darcy listens. He hears both sides of an issue before making a decision. This is incredibly important to truly represent a district. Darcy’s constituents can be assured that he is listening and that the people of District 26 are heard.”
OCA Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey echoed AFR’s praise for Jech’s willingness to hear all sides of an issue.
“Darcy Jech is the definition of a statesman,” said Kelsey. “He’s level-headed; he has integrity; he’s calm. He listens to both sides on issues, and he’s a better senator because of that.
“Darcy does good work, solid work that is beneficial. We need him in this role. He doesn’t do things for press releases or just for show. If his name’s on it, it’s sound. We need him at the Oklahoma Senate.”
Former Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate and Chairman of the OKFB PAC Mike Schultz agreed with OCA’s characterization of Jech.
“Darcy’s a great stateman and a great member of the Oklahoma Senate,” said Schultz. “I was fortunate enough to get to serve with him for four years. I saw him at work. Darcy does a tremendous job.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to endorse Darcy Jech. He really needs to go back to represent western Oklahoma and rural Oklahoma in the Oklahoma Senate.”
Jech was first elected to serve Oklahoma Senate District 26 in November 2014 and he has served as the Senate Rural Caucus for six years. He currently represents all of Beckham, Blaine, Caddo and Roger Mills counties and portions of Custer and Kingfisher counties.
District 26 was redrawn ahead of the 2022 election. The redrawn district up for election this year now includes all of Blaine, Caddo and Custer counties and portions of Canadian and Kingfisher counties.
Jech’s endorsement by the agriculture organizations was made ahead of the 2022 Oklahoma Runoff Primary Election set for Aug. 23, 2022. Jech faces a runoff election against Brady Butler of Weatherford.
AFR Cooperative is a membership services organization established in 1905 as Oklahoma Farmers Union. AFR provides educational, legislative and cooperative programs across the state and serves as a watchdog for Oklahoma’s family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. The organization is actively supportive of the state’s agricultural industry and rural population with membership consisting of farmers actively involved in production agriculture and non-farmers adding their voice in support of AFR principles.
–American Farmers & Ranchers