Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Former U.S. Sen. James Inhofe has died at 89

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U.S. Sen. James Lankford: “Cindy and I are deeply saddened about the loss of Oklahoma’s favorite son, Sen. Jim Inhofe. We grieve along with our state and nation the loss of a true patriot for our American values and way of life. Jim was an institution in the Senate. He kept his relationship with Jesus, his family, and all Oklahomans as his priority. His passion for our military, aviation, energy, infrastructure, Africa, and our personal freedom was vital for our state and our nation. He was a true legend and a force to be reckoned with. Cindy and I pray along with his wife, Kay, their children, grandchildren, friends, and fellow Oklahomans for peace and comfort as they walk through this difficult season.”

Former U.S. Sen. David Boren: “I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Sen. Jim Inhofe. I had the opportunity to serve with Jim in the Oklahoma State Legislature and later in the Congress for many years. We worked together many times in a bipartisan spirit for the benefit of the people of our state. We desperately need that ability to work together across party lines in our nation today. Jim will be missed by his many friends and remembered for his service to our state and nation. While we ran against each other for governor, we were opponents but never enemies and remained friends. I hope we can rebuild that spirit in American politics.”

U.S. Sen. Markwayne Mullin: “It’s fitting that Sen. Jim Inhofe’s middle name was Mountain — because that’s exactly what he was, not just for our state, but for the nation. Sen. Inhofe’s tenacity and enduring love for Oklahoma made him a titan in the Senate. He was a tireless advocate, and a wonderful friend, father, husband, and grandfather. While I will never be able to fill his shoes, Jim’s spirit, passion, and love of country will continue to inspire me each and every day.”

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt: “Sarah and I are saddened by the news of the passing of Sen. Inhofe, and our hearts go out to Kay, their children and grandchildren. Jim was a generational Oklahoman who relentlessly championed our veterans, never wavered in protecting our values, and a firm believer in the American Dream. Jim will be remembered as a true statesman and public servant — and a fighter for Oklahoma. In honor of his memory and service, I’m ordering all flags on state property to be flown at half-staff until (Wednesday) evening.”

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum: “While his tenure as the longest-serving United States senator in Oklahoma history reserves his rightful place in the record books, Jim Inhofe was also one of Tulsa’s most accomplished mayors. He created the first city sales tax for capital improvements — the Third Penny — which has funded billions in street and infrastructure enhancements over the last half century. He modernized our trash system, established our 9-1-1 call system, and created our Sister Cities program that went on to build cultural ties between our city and nearly every continent around the world.”

Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber: “The Tulsa Regional Chamber mourns the death of former U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, who spent his entire professional career seeking to enrich the lives of Oklahomans. As a former Tulsa mayor, Congressman and the longest-serving U.S. senator from Oklahoma, Inhofe was the consummate public servant, unafraid to advocate for his constituents, particularly in the areas of transportation, infrastructure and the armed services. We are especially grateful to the former senator for several recent wins, including full funding of the Tulsa/West Tulsa Levees, a longtime priority within the Chamber’s OneVoice Regional Legislative Agenda. He also led the effort to designate U.S. Highway 412 as an interstate, and he oversaw reforms to help address the maintenance backlog of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. The breadth of Senator Inhofe’s impact on Oklahoma and the members of its business community is immeasurable.”

University of Tulsa President Brad Carson: “I served alongside Jim in Washington and know he was committed to a prosperous state, a sound economy, and a strong military. As a TU alumnus, he was equally dedicated to the university and its mission as a top research institution.”

U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern, Oklahoma’s 1st congressional district: “Sen. Jim Inhofe was a dear friend and mentor, a titan in Oklahoma, and a highly effective leader in D.C. Tammy and I are keeping Kay and the rest of the Inhofe family in our prayers. Jim spent his life in service to his country, both in uniform and in the halls of Congress. He will always be remembered as a fighter, especially for our military service members. Jim’s legacy of service, leadership, and faith reflect the Oklahoma Standard and the pride he held in his work.”

U.S. Rep. Josh Brecheen, Oklahoma’s 2nd congressional district: “I am very sad to hear of the passing of former Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe. Jim and his family devoted nearly sixty years of public service for the people of Oklahoma. May the peace that only the Lord can provide be with the Inhofe family during this difficult time.”

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, Oklahoma’s 3rd congressional district: “Today, Oklahoma and the entire country mourn the loss of Senator Jim Inhofe. The true embodiment of a public servant, Jim spent five decades faithfully serving the people of Oklahoma with the utmost integrity and purpose. His calling to do so began in the Oklahoma Legislature and later as the mayor of Tulsa, where he proved to be a selfless steward of his community. His long career in the United States House and Senate serves as a testament to his strong moral compass and innate desire to better his home state. From being a larger-than-life advocate for Oklahoma’s military installations to improving infrastructure across the state, Jim Inhofe has made an impact on Oklahomans that will be felt for generations. Watching and learning under his leadership has only strengthened my sense of duty, and I have always used his character as a guidepost in my endeavors.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, Oklahoma’s 4th congressional district: “I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and former colleague, Sen. Jim Inhofe. Jim was a true patriot, as he spent decades serving our great nation and state of Oklahoma in the United States Army, Oklahoma state Legislature, United States House of Representatives, United States Senate, and as the mayor of Tulsa. Throughout his time as a public servant, he fought passionately for our military, infrastructure, and strong conservative values. Sen. Inhofe’s passing is a devastating loss. For 50 years, he served as my friend, my leader, and my mentor. I will miss him dearly, as will all of Oklahoma and every man and woman who wears the uniform of the United States.”

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice, Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District: “Today, Oklahoma mourns the loss of a true champion for our state with the passing of Senator Jim Inhofe. From fighting for our military to focusing on transportation infrastructure, Jim was a true servant for all Oklahomans. It is a profound loss, and I am praying for his wife Kay and the entire Inhofe family.”

Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City: “Sen. Inhofe was a resolute Republican who served his state and nation for nearly six decades in various roles. Unwavering in his beliefs and conservative values, he championed many causes during his career, including his support for the military, national defense and infrastructure. His dedication and influence in shaping policies in both Oklahoma and on a national level have left a lasting impact.”

Oklahoma House Majority Leader Jon Echols: “Few have done more than James Mountain Inhofe for the people of Oklahoma. From supporting countless miles of infrastructure development, standing up for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, his commitment to our men and women in uniform, or his unwavering commitment to conservative values, and so much more, Oklahoma lost an irreplaceable legend.”

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Cyndi Munson: “My condolences go out to the family and friends of Sen. Jim Inhofe. He was a tenacious leader, state representative, and United States Senator who stood firm in his convictions. He bravely served our country in more ways than one and has left a long-lasting impact on the State of Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma Department of Transportation Director Tim Gatz: “No one cared more deeply for Oklahomans and for our nation than Sen. Inhofe. The department is grateful for his dedication and contributions to infrastructure while making certain Oklahoma was receiving its fair share of the federal transportation programs. We are well positioned for the future because of his efforts. He and his legacy will be dearly remembered and he will be absolutely missed. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will keep the Senator’s family in our thoughts and prayers. For many years Sen. Inhofe served as chairman and ranking member of the Environment and Public Works committee and worked to craft major pieces of transportation and infrastructure legislation that benefited all corners of the state. He was key in creating and securing large funding packages across multiple administrations. Most recently, he helped ODOT receive a BUILD grant to replace the Bridgeport Bridge on US-281/Route 66 prior to the celebration of the Mother Road. In 2022, work began on the more than $170 million I-40/Douglas interchange, to be complete in 2025, which the Oklahoma Legislature named The U.S. Senator James Inhofe Interchange, in his honor.”

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