Rep. Rick West
This column is a bittersweet one to write. It’s coming much sooner than I anticipated when I first set out on this journey more than three years ago. But I’m certain the choice to step down from my role as your state representative is the right one, and because of that, I have peace.
I want to thank all the great people of House District 3 who saw fit to elect me as their representative back in 2016. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the thousands of conversations we had on your porches and in your living rooms. You invited me into your lives. You hosted spaghetti dinners and pie contests. You shared stories about your children and grandchildren, about your service in the military and your commitment to our students in the classrooms where you teach. You were gracious and challenging. But more than anything, you were trusting. Thank you for your faith and encouragement throughout this season of my life.
Many people made sacrifices far greater than I did during this process. My wife Jan and my son Bruce held down the fort as I spent weeks away from home. They took the heat at church on Sundays and in town during the week, and they did so happily. Those two are my rocks. And for every serious conversation we had, my grandson Bryce was always nearby to make us laugh and lighten the mood. To my family, thank you for your unwavering support. I felt it every day, and I look forward to repaying you from here on out.
I will leave the Capitol with my head held high and my integrity in place. Not everyone gets the privilege of representing 37,000 constituents, and I consider myself honored to be one of the lucky few. The job is a tough one, but it’s one that is noble and worthwhile. I hope I made you proud to have me as your legislator.
There will be things I’ll miss about life at the Capitol – I’ve made friends I’ll cherish forever. I’ve learned many lessons, both on policy and character. But I’ll tell you what: I’m looking forward to seeing a few more LeFlore County sunsets. The ones in Oklahoma City just don’t compare.
The thing about sunsets is that they are often followed by periods of rest, and then the sun rises again. They signify a new day is coming – and they represent the end of a chapter. And as much as I’ve enjoyed the privilege of watching hundreds of Oklahoma City sunsets over the past two years, I sure am glad to be returning home to the ones in LeFlore County.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.