Imagine an elected official, facing reelection and accepting nomination to keep his seat... who then starts his speech by saying: "Let me tell you why I'm going to vote for my opponent, and why I want you to vote for him, too."

That is what I did today. I was not a publicly-elected official, but I was president of the veterans committee for the Oklahoma Democratic Party. As such, I was one of the 24 people who sit on the state party's Central Committee.

I served in the post for a full term, from March 2011 to March 2013, and then decided that with hundreds of thousands of our Nation's troops returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Veterans Committee would be best served by having a combat veteran at the helm. I am a veteran, but I was not asked to serve in combat.

I voted for Calvin Rees for president, and against myself. Calvin previously served as the veteran's committee's representative for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District, and is a Vietnam Combat Veteran who served honorably, and whom I believe will be better at truly understanding, representing and fighting for the issues that affect veterans in Oklahoma and all of America.

I am proud to call Calvin my friend, and proud to call him the president of the Oklahoma Democratic Party's Veterans Committee. He has been an active progressive Democrat in this state for many years, and has definitely earned his new title and role.

I am honored to have served as president of the committee, but I'm also at least as honored to have voted for this honorable U.S. Army veteran and political activist to be our new president and our voice to the state party.

I will continue to be involved with the veterans committee, and with state and local Democratic activism, especially when it concerns issues affecting veterans.

-Isaac M. O'Bannon
Former President
Oklahoma Democratic Party Veterans Committee
& ODP Central Committee Member


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