Correction: Corrects Watts' status in House.
(CNSNews.com) - After weeks of speculation, Representative JC Watts (R-OK), the only African-American Republican member of the House of Representatives, has made it official: He will run again for another term in Congress.
Watts made the announcement during a news conference on Monday in Norman, Oklahoma.
"After an intense time of prayer and soul searching, I am declaring my intention to run for re-election for Oklahoma's Fourth District Congressional Seat. Although we've accomplished much in Congress these past five years, I have made this decision because there is still important work left undone," Watts said.
Watts then announced what he plans to do if re-elected to Congress.
"We need to continue to build a strong national defense. We need to continue to return education decisions and dollars to the local leaders here in Oklahoma who know what is best for Oklahoma kids. We need to shore up Social Security and Medicare for today and tomorrow, and finally, we need to reduce the tax burden on every family in the Fourth District and make sure you get to keep more of what you earn. Plus, legislation I authored like the American Community Renewal Act to help our poorest urban and rural areas still remains unrealized," Watts said.
Watts is confident the Republicans will win back the White House in November.
"I also have a strong desire to work with the new Republican president and a larger House majority that I'm convinced America will elect this fall. With my service as the House Republican Conference Chairman, Oklahoma is the only state in the union to have a member in both House and Senate leadership, a position that ensures all of our interests are always protected," Watts said.
Watts was first elected to the House in 1994. He has been re-elected twice. In his last election in 1998, he defeated Democrat Ben Odom by a margin of 62 to 38%. He is chairman of the House Republican Conference. Before coming to Congress, Watts was a former college and professional football player and businessman.
According to the National Journal, Watts Congressional voting record during 1998 was 64% Conservative and 34% Liberal on economic issues. On Social issues, his record was 60% Conservative and 38% Liberal. On Foreign policy issues, he voted 93% Conservative and zero percent Liberal.
Watts Congressional District includes Norman and Lawton, Oklahoma and a few miles of the city of Oklahoma City. His district voted twice against Bill Clinton.