LL&D Law
Introducing former-Congressman Wes Watkins

by Andy Lester
1/20/2010 11:37:00 AM

     A couple of my Democratic friends have thought we’ve had a few too many Republicans speak to our Rotary Club of Edmond. And a few of my Republican friends have wondered at all the Democrats who have spoken to us. I haven’t heard yet from any Independents, though I can guess what they might think.

    Our special guest speaker this week has filled all three roles. From 1976 to 1990, Wes Watkins served as the Democratic Congressman from Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District (better known as “Little Dixie”). He stepped down from Congress to run for the Democratic nomination for Governor. In 1994, he was an Independent candidate for Governor. Two years later, he was again elected to Congress from the Third Congressional District, and served until retiring in 2002. Amazingly, no matter how he ran for office – as a Democrat, an Independent or a Republican – Watkins always carried the Third District.

    A 1960 alumnus of Oklahoma State University, Watkins received a Master’s degree from OSU in 1961. He has been an Oklahoma leader his entire life. Named in his honor are the Wes Watkins Technology Center in Wetumka, the Wes Watkins Reservoir in McLoud, the Wes Watkins Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Lane, and the Wes Watkins Center in Stillwater, which houses Oklahoma State University’s School of International Studies.

    Did you know that, among all who have served in the United States House of Representatives since the founding of the Republic, Wes Watkins is unique? He is the only Congressman to have served on all three of the major House committees that deal with financial matters. Serving on any is considered a “plum.” Some have served on two. But only Wes Watkins has served on the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on the Budget and the Committee on Ways and Means.

    Wes’s wife, Lou, serves on the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. They live in Stillwater, and remain quite active in their community and the state. They regularly give of themselves generously. Oklahoma is a better place because of their leadership.

    Please give a warm welcome to our special guest speaker, Wes Watkins.



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