Jay Steagall is facing a unique challenge in his race to replace John Paul Jordan in the U.S. House of Representatives. He literally will have to phone-in his campaign.
That’s because Steagall is a major in the Oklahoma Air Force Reserves and was deployed earlier this week on an overseas mission. He is expected to be gone about two months, which means Steagall will not be available to go door-to-door in person.
But his campaign crew has a plan of action. Steagall will be tagging along on social media, as well as through phone calls and streaming video.
Though he can’t say what his job duties will be while overseas, he said Saturday that he plans to be involved as much as possible.
His campaign manager is his wife, Kimberly.
She said Saturday that the campaign will be a little more challenging.
“It will make it more interesting. The people in our district can still be in contact with him. We’ve been talking about Facebook Live. Technology will make it interesting,” she said.
Steagall volunteered for his overseas deployment before deciding to seek office.
“I’m not really happy with the direction of the state. It is my duty to continue serving our local community. I feel so strongly that I filed for office. I don’t think there is any doubt about my level of commitment to my community, state our country. This is a direct reflection to that kind of commitment,” he said.
Steagall has been in the military for about 22 years, and said that he will depend heavily on his volunteers.
“We’ve got a great big team here. We have lots of volunteers to get their boots on the ground,” he said.
Steagall is expected to be back in Oklahoma shortly after the primary. He will be able to serve a full term.
He said he tries to follow the core values that he has learned over his career in the military.
“I grew up in a small town where I learned the values of honesty, loyalty and being true to your neighbors. If you want a proper representative of this community, that is what you will get from me,” he said.
Steagall is one of four Republican candidates. The others are Crystal Duncan, Michael Oglesby and Max Martin.
In addition, there are two Democratic candidates. They are Chantelle Cory and Jacque Pearsall.
Jordan chose not to seek another term in office so that he could run for a newly created district judge’s seat.