Gov. Brad Henry will be watching election returns tonight in Chicago with the man he endorsed for president seven months ago and voted for in Oklahoma’s presidential primary nine months ago.
The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama invited Henry and several other Democratic governors to join the candidate at his official watch party in Chicago.
Henry, who earlier voted in today’s general election by absentee ballot, is to leave Oklahoma today and return Wednesday, said the governor’s spokesman, Paul Sund. First lady Kim Henry is going with him.
State taxpayers won’t be paying for the governor’s trip, Sund said. The trip will be paid for with money in the governor’s 2006 campaign fund, which had about $277,000 remaining as of Sept. 30. Henry, who cannot seek a third term because of gubernatorial term limits, is not taking the state airplane, Sund said.
Henry endorsed Obama in April while Obama was involved in a tough primary battle with U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton. She won 55 percent of the votes in Oklahoma’s Feb. 5 presidential primary. Obama won 31 percent.
When he endorsed Obama, Henry called him an inspirational leader and one who is “ideally suited” to bring together Democrats, independents and Republicans.
Henry had hoped Obama, who made a campaign stop in March 2007 in Oklahoma City, would have visited Oklahoma before today’s election, but the Obama campaign kept the candidate mostly in key battleground states.
- Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau