Major Coy Jenkins with the Rogers County Sheriff's Office announced his candidacy for the Oklahoma Senate on Sunday.
“If you would stand beside me, give me a chance, support me at all costs, I promise you a respectable, aggressive campaign,” he said at his announcement. “A fresh new start in our Oklahoma Legislature with representation that this community has never witnessed before. I will always remain approachable and available. On that, you have my honor.”
Jenkins will be running for District 2 of the Oklahoma Senate. Marty Quinn – the current senator for Oklahoma’s second state senate district – will be term limiting out.
The general election will be Nov. 8, 2022.
Jenkins said he will work to promote better healthcare for state, grow the economy, provide better infrastructure, increase fiscal stability, promote reforms in crimes and corrections, improve the national environment and provide positive opportunities for communities.
With 45 years of law enforcement experience, Jenkins said he’s grown to recognize the need to do something about discrimination in our criminal justices system.
“A measure of justice is not necessarily equal justice,” he said. “I am a proponent for measures that will assist in providing better advantages for those among who made poor choices in life, but paid their debt to society and still can not vote, can not get a decent job or be considered for the same opportunities as the rest of us. Those are practices that should not define us as being compassionate neighbors.”
Jenkins said he became interested in entering the Senatorial race because he is concerned about the nation’s current attitude about law enforcement.
“I’ve spent my entire lifetime serving and protecting our communities,” he said. “People need to allow us to continue to perform our honorable profession. Persons deserve to have their homes and property protected, and to feel safe. While we are capable of understanding the manner in which individuals want and need to be treated, as law enforcement officers we still want to be able to perform our responsibility in such a manner that the voice of a few does not over emphasize what the majority of the public requires and expects.”
Jenkins said he will be taking measures to increase support for victim’s rights.
“It is not enough to just tell someone we’re sorry they were victimized by a crime,” he said. “We need to increase methods, which repay families for being a victim, and send a message to criminals that harsher consequences are in place for those who prey on the innocent.”
Jenkins said while his political platform will include priorities for criminal justice reform, he plans to pursue legislation that will focus stiffer penalties for career criminals.
“We have persons engaged in repetitive criminal acts who have no need to exist within our community, and need to be incarcerated,” he said. “That’s what our focus in the criminal justice system should be; career criminals that are not paying enough attention to the consequences and rehabilitation that has been afforded to them.”
Jenkins said he will also focus on providing assistance to military veterans.
“We need to positively influence the statewide network of veteran providers, advocates and champions who are currently working together to improve methods to assist our veterans,” he said. “It is socially unacceptable that many of my friends are struggling to acquire deserving military benefits and healthcare.”
Other areas that Jenkins said are areas of concern include the inhumane treatment of animals and the food insecurity within rural communities.
“While we’ve accomplished so much together, there’s a lot of things yet to perform,” he said. “The tasks are before us. The work is unfinished and in some instances, it hasn’t even begun.” Jenkins said he will work hard to find the right answer.
“I’m proud to look out among you today and see there are individuals with varying opinions about the direction we should be taking with our state,” he said. “I know there are times I’ll need to reach across party lines in the best interest of my constituency. Therefore let us not get caught up in determining a typical political party answer, instead, let’s determine the right answer.”
Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton described Jenkins as a valued friend and valued coworker.
“I’m thrilled for him to accept the challenge and jump out there,” he said. “I know with no question – the ethics, hard work and commitment to anything – Coy is that.”
Walton said he’s known Jenkins since 1981.
“He’s done a lot for a lot of people and so much of that nobody ever knows about,” he said.
Walton said Jenkins has helped the sheriffs office grow – specifically the Reserve Program and Search and Rescue Team.
“Whatever he does, he’s committed to it,” Walton said. “He’ll take anything to a new level.”
Jenkins is from Vinita. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelors degree in Political Science and a minor in Police Administration. He received his Masters degree in Public Administration from Oklahoma State University.