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Andrew Rice


Office Seeking: US Senate, Oklahoma

Race Type: Democratic Challenge
Primary Opponent: None
Primary Date: July 29, 2008
Primary Election Results: Won Primary
General Opponent: Jim Inhofe
General Election Date: November 4, 2008
General Election Results: Lost, 39.2% – 56.7%

Candidate Quote: “Bold changes of direction occur when a leader puts their own political self-interest at risk to forge a third way.”

Why We Like Him: When you read Andrew’s story detailing how he became passionate about influencing policy, you realize there are two sides of the story, one that ended on September 10, 2001 and one that began the day after when two planes struck the World Trade Center towers in New York City. His brother, David, was an innocent victim in those attacks. Since that day, Andrew has dedicated his life to social justice and promotion of understanding and tolerance. Andrew’s entry into politics is a tribute to his undying passion for public service with fair solutions.

Since Andrew’s run for office as State Senator in Oklahoma in 2006, he has inspired a nation with his story and his dedication. Andrew won an overwhelming 70% in his district to become State Senator. Since the beginning of 2007 people from across the country have been organizing to draft Andrew Rice to run for US Senate. In August of 2007, Andrew announced his Senate run against right wing Senator Jim Inhofe. He knows that he can and must do more to turn around America’s disastrous foreign policy and bring back accountability to our government.

Citizens in Oklahoma and across the nation look to Andrew as a person who gets things done. Andrew has proven himself to be a skilled consensus builder who gets results. In his first term as state senator, Andrew was able to pass five pieces of legislation in an equally divided legislature. “I am not afraid to take unpopular risks for what is right, but also make a compromise with my opponents when we can meet halfway and each attain a semblance of victory.”

Andrew Rice is going to take his consensus building and bold plans to Washington to challenge the status quo on National Security, Education and Government Accountability. Twenty-First Century Democrats is proud to help Andrew Rice challenge Jim Inhofe for U.S. Senate in Oklahoma.

Background

In the evenly-divided Oklahoma State Senate, Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City, has established himself as a consensus-builder and a strong advocate for children and families.

When Oklahoma voters elected 24 Democrats and 24 Republicans to fill the State Senate, many feared that it would lead to gridlock at the State Capitol. However, Senator Rice has worked closely with Republicans in both the House and Senate to get results for Oklahoma.

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Rice saw his life take a dramatic turn on September 11, 2001, when his older brother, David, was killed in the terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Center. A graduate of Bishop McGuiness High School in Oklahoma City and a Fulbright Scholar in South Africa, David was working at the investment firm, Sandler O’Neill at the time of his death.

As a result of his family’s tragic loss, Andrew Rice re-dedicated his life to social justice work and common-sense public policy. He has been involved since 2002 with other families who lost loved ones in the 9/11 terrorist attacks to oppose the War in Iraq and attempt to refocus America’s leaders on the terrorist network that attacked us. He was also a strong advocate for creation of the 9/11 Commission to examine events that led to the attack.

After graduating from Colby College in Maine with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies, Rice worked in Sri Lanka and Thailand on rural development projects in impoverished villages. He returned to the United States one year later to attend Harvard Divinity School, where he graduated in 1999 with a Masters in Theological Studies. While in graduate school, he collaborated with his sister, Amy Rice, to produce the documentary film, “From Ashes”, about an ex-convict who runs a hospice for rejected HIV-positive people in Bangalore, India. At the time of his brother’s death, Rice was working in New York as a documentary film producer.

Shortly after 9/11, Rice worked at the Texas Faith Network (TFN) in Austin, Texas, where he organized Texas religious leaders to advocate for moderate and progressive public policy ideas. He also organized education programs about religious intolerance at places of worship all over Texas. He returned to Oklahoma in 2003 to establish the Progressive Alliance Foundation, which advocates fairness and equity in public policies. In 2005, Rice launched a bid for State Senate District 46, a diverse inner-city district that includes small business owners, ethnic neighborhoods and Oklahoma City University. He defeated two Democratic opponents in the primary and won the general election with 70 percent of the vote after personally walking the entire district and meeting or contacting every voter.

Rice is married to Dr. Apple Newman Rice, an Oklahoma City pathologist and native Oklahoman. They live in the heart of Rice’s OKC Senate district with their two sons, Noah, 2, and Parker, six months.

 





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