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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — State Representative José Cruz, D-OKC, will resign his seat in the Oklahoma Legislature as of 5:00 p.m. Friday.

Political consultant Danielle Ezell released a short statement from Cruz Wednesday evening expressing regret for “acting inappropriately at a gathering” on New Year’s Eve.

Statement

The following is the entire statement:


With a heavy heart, I am resigning as the Representative for House District 89. 

I started 2022 by exercising poor judgment and acting inappropriately during a gathering. I deeply regret my conduct and that my actions made someone else uncomfortable. I’m upset with myself and embarrassed. 

My actions on New Year’s Eve did not reflect my values and beliefs. I consider myself a champion of women and have deep respect for my female colleagues and friends. However, my conduct that evening was inappropriate. I take full responsibility for my behavior and I apologize.  

I can’t express my gratitude enough to my constituents, donors, colleagues and family. I’m very proud to have represented the people of South Oklahoma City, and serving as your representative has been a great honor. 

Nevertheless, I must resign my seat, take steps to right my wrongs and learn from this experience. And although I’m giving up this seat, I will not give up advocating for others and fighting to improve Oklahoma.


Ezell said the statement was “all we are releasing at this time.”

Cruz was first Latino to rep HD-89

The district that starts with the Stockyards area and then extends further southwest in the City is around 70% Hispanic and Latino, but that seat was never held by someone from Hispanic culture until Cruz.

Shane Stone, also a Democrat, served the district before his resignation to take a job in another state. While still in office, Stone told us that he could speak a little Spanish but not enough to connect if the conversation became involved. As other Anglo representatives before Stone, he would have to call a native Spanish speaker to meet him and the constituent later to interpret a full conversation.

Cruz, on the other hand, grew up in Hispanic culture in a home where Spanish was spoken. He had a level of cultural connection with the district no other representative had achieved since the district was mostly White decades ago with white candidates running.

No doubt, the news will be a blow to southside supporters who worked for his election in November 2020.

Free Press reported the campaign and Cruz’s ideas for the people of his district as he reminded everyone in speeches and conversations that he grew up in a hard-working family and wanted to represent the hard-working people in the southwest corner of the city.

José Cruz
José Cruz campaigning in the Fiestas de Las Americas parade October 2019. (file photo BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

Democrat Cruz beat Republican John Hutton in a landslide. Our report from the night of the election said that he won with 65% of the vote. But, later, the final tally shows that Cruz earned 66.4% of the vote.

His goals were focused on Medicaid expansion and ways in which he could help his constituents with many infrastructure issues more connected to the City of Oklahoma City.

In the small House minority, Cruz’s passion for common people and his determination to provide representation of the people of his district will be missed, no doubt.

Statement from House Minority Leader

Later in the evening after Nondoc Media broke the story, House Minority Leader Emily Virgin, D-Norman, sent a statement to several metro news outlets.

“We are aware of Rep. Cruz’s resignation and have a plan in place to make sure services to the constituents of House District 89 are uninterrupted,” Virgin said. “I have no further comment at this time due to potential investigations related to the matter.”


The feature photo is of Cruz checking his election numbers on Election Night, Nov. 3, 2020. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)


Last Updated January 20, 2022, 2:08 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor