'A Giant For Oklahoma': Local Leaders Remember Late Sen. Inhofe's Legacy

'A Giant For Oklahoma': Local Leaders Remember Late Sen. Inhofe's Legacy

Oklahomans are remembering the life of long-time Senator James Inhofe who passed away Tuesday.

Senator Inhofe served in Oklahoma politics for decades, including terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and as the Mayor of Tulsa.

During that time, he was responsible for several projects that improved Green Country, including upgrading roads and the local ports.

John Browne, the Mayor of McAlester, says Inhofe will be missed and the mayor appreciated the work Inhofe did to make the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant a priority.

One of Inhofe’s priorities was the military and that included pushing for legislation to help the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.

Browne says local leaders went to visit high-ranking officials in Congress in Washington to talk about the plant.

"I will tell you honestly, it really surprised me that we would have access to directors over agencies,” said Browne. “All of that, we wouldn't have got, had Senator Inhofe not been our sponsor."

Browne says Inhofe also helped with policies to make it easier for people to get jobs at the plant.

"We got that changed to direct hire authority,” said Browne. “So that they could apply at the plant, the plant could make the decision to hire them, then they could go to work in a much shorter time period."

Inhofe also fought for funding to help improve infrastructure around the state,  including the Port of Muskogee.

The Port of Muskogee sent News On 6 a statement that says in full:

“Senator Inhofe was a political giant, a great statesman. He was a champion for the waterway and instrumental in getting things done and welcomed crossing party lines to ensure necessary infrastructure on the waterway was taken care of.  He loved Oklahoma and you were able to see that through his tenacious spirit.    Senator Inhofe had a servant’s attitude.  Robert S. Kerr was a visionary, always looking for ways to position Oklahoma as a contender for the global market.  Like Senator/Governor Kerr, Senator Inhofe recognized Oklahoma’s potential as a global contender opening its doors via the navigable waterway (MKARNS).  He will be remembered for his leadership in the Senate and his advocacy for the great State of Oklahoma.”

ODOT also said on social media, "Senator Inhofe made certain Oklahoma was receiving its fair share of federal transportation programs and was key in securing major pieces of transportation legislation that touched all parts of the state.”

Mayor Browne says Inhofe’s death is a big loss for the state.

"He was always willing to help with guidance and advice and legislation when needed,” said Browne. “He was a giant for Oklahoma, he will definitely be missed."

Several politicians have also issued statements about Inhofe’s life and legacy, including the Oklahoma congressional delegation and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and you can find those HERE.