House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-OKC) is planning to abandon his campaign to be Oklahoma’s governor and is planning to resign from the Legislature, multiple people with intimate knowledge of the Del City politician’s activities have told NonDoc.
Word of Inman’s decisions — which he is said to have announced during a Wednesday morning meeting of the House Democratic Caucus — began swirling during questions on HB 1035, which the House held open early in the afternoon because not enough votes were on the board to pass it.
A call to Inman’s cell phone went directly to voice mail.
Inman was elected minority leader of the House in 2009 after originally being elected to the Legislature in 2007.
Prior to Wednesday’s vote while lawmakers filed into the House chamber, Inman took a photo with his father on the floor of the House, and he and his wife were seen having a discussion in the fourth-floor rotunda. During discussion of HB 1035, Inman asked questions but was absent from the floor during debate.
He did not debate against the bill, and as of the publication of this story, he had not voted for or against it. The vote remained open, and Capitol insiders speculated that he had left the building.
Scott Inman releases statement
Minutes after the publication of this post and tweets from other media, Inman released the following statement on social media and by email:
Friends and fellow Oklahomans,
For the last eleven years, it has been my honor and privilege to represent the people of my hometown of Del City at the State Capitol. For the last seven years, it has been a true pleasure to lead the honorable women and men of the House Democratic Caucus as House Minority Leader. And for the last six months, it has been the dream of a lifetime to travel across this great state to visit with my fellow Oklahomans about the issues important to them in my campaign for Governor.
Those roles and responsibilities, while at times enjoyable and rewarding, did not come without a price. Unfortunately, that price was paid by those nearest and dearest to me. The stresses and strains of my career, the time away from my family, and the choice to wrongly prioritize my life’s decisions have brought me to this moment. I can no longer ask my wife and children to sacrifice for me. It is time for me to reprioritize what is important in this world.
Therefore, I am announcing today, that I will be immediately ending my campaign for Governor of Oklahoma and will be stepping down from the legislature at the beginning of next year, leaving me time to complete the important work of the special session before us in the legislature.
To those who believed and invested in me over the years, especially during these last six months, I am truly grateful for your support. To the kind-hearted citizens who called, emailed, and messaged me during the campaign to encourage my family and me along the journey, I offer a sincere thank you. To those who volunteered for my campaign, sacrificing their time and talent to aid in our run for Governor, I thank you as well. To the campaign team that helped make my dream a reality, I will never forget your devotion, drive, and passion to make a real change in this state. To the incredibly talented and thoughtful Representatives with whom I have served in the House Democratic Caucus, those who honored me by allowing me to serve as their leader, words cannot express the love and gratitude I have for you. To the citizens of House District 94, my hometown, serving you will always stand as one of the highest honors of my life. And to my family, both immediate and extended, what you have sacrificed for me will leave me forever indebted to you.
This moment is certainly disappointing for me and I am certain it will come as a disappointment to those who believed in my campaign and our vision for Oklahoma’s future. To you, I would offer that my time in the legislature has taught me ideas and goals are much bigger than one person or one campaign. Those things we collectively fought for like better public schools for our children, access to quality healthcare for all of our citizens, a fairer and just criminal justice system, and a tax structure that fairly balances the burden of funding core services in this state are no less important or no less worthy today.
I implore you to keep up the fight. Always hold those in power accountable for the decisions they make that have sweeping effects on the nearly four million people who call our state home. And never forget that those of us blessed to be called Representative, Senator, or Governor work for you.
The next few days will be challenging for my friends and family. I ask for your understanding, your prayers, and privacy during this time. And I once again thank you for the allowing me to take part in this incredible journey. I have been abundantly blessed. I pray God will bless each of you.
Scott Inman out, other candidates for governor remain
Inman had been one of three well-known Democrats campaigning for the 2018 gubernatorial election. He, former Attorney General Drew Edmondson and former State Sen. Connie Johnson have participated in a slew of party forums across Oklahoma this month.
Edmondson held a substantial fundraising lead over Inman and Johnson, but the House minority leader had gained notoriety over the past two years as the most visible face of Democratic opposition to Republican policies in the Legislature.
A fiery orator, Scott Inman was first elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2007 and faced 2018 as his final legislative year owing to term limits. He has led the House Democrats’ populist rhetoric over recent years, declining to pass cigarette and fuel taxes without similar raises to taxes affecting the oil and gas industry and high-income earners.
(Update: This story was updated at 1:21 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, to include Scott Inman’s full statement.)