EDMOND, OK – Adam Pugh, a former captain in the United States Air Force and AWACS aviator, announced Thursday he will seek the Republican nomination in Senate District 41.
The seat is being vacated by Senator Clark Jolley due to term limits.
“Oklahoma needs solutions and vision, not rhetoric and division,” said Pugh, who was deputy Inspector General at Tinker Air Force Base before leaving the military.
“We need bold, positive and conservative leadership that embraces an American dream that inspires the best, not the worst in us.
“After 9/11, I had the distinct honor of protecting American airspace as part of the North American Air Defense mission over the United States. “I have flown missions across the globe, and I understand that freedom is worth fighting for, on the battlefield and in the halls of our Capitol.
“As a US service member and now in my job as an executive in the aerospace industry, I know we need problem solvers and critical thinkers. Empty political rhetoric doesn’t advance the conservative cause and is a disservice to all of us. Oklahomans deserve bold leadership with the heart of a servant, not the single-focus demagoguery we often hear in the arena today.”
As an Air Battle Manager, Pugh logged combat support missions in the Global War on Terror, coordinating hundreds of U.S. and allied aircraft at any given time in the theater of operations. He flew missions in Iraq, the Balkans, Asia and eastern Europe. As chief of Readiness and Inspections, he led and prepared an entire airwing for sustained combat flying operations.
While stationed in Germany, Pugh developed new training methods for aircrews. His ideas to better use technology and integrate training tools saved the USAF and our NATO allies millions annually.
After leaving the military, Pugh has continued to work in the aerospace industry and today heads business development for one of the largest Oklahoma-based aerospace companies, Delaware Resource Group of Oklahoma. DRG has consistently been one of the fastest growing companies in the OKC metro and now trains thousands of service members a year in complex military training operations.
More than a decade ago, Pugh’s work on the E-3 AWACS brought him to Tinker Air Force Base. Pugh continued his work with the Air Force as a Boeing Instructional Systems Designer and Subject Matter Expert. He has since authored dozens of academic lessons and flight-training programs, developed war-time training scenarios, while also serving as a consultant on strategic industry partnerships.
He met his wife, Sarah, in Edmond and they have two daughters, Sadie, 3, and Amelia, 9 months.
Pugh is an active member of Life Church in Edmond where he volunteers in numerous programs including Whiz Kids. He participates in the Edmond Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Edmond Young Professionals and he has been a substitute teacher in Deer Creek and Edmond Public Schools. He is active in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma and the Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Community service and volunteerism is a passion for Pugh, and while in Germany, he was named a “NATO Volunteer of the Year” and also co-chairs a charity that has raised nearly $1 million for cancer research.
“I love Edmond and there are few places in the world that exhibit the same entrepreneurial and can-do spirit centered around a sense of community. Oklahoma will emerge from today’s tough economy more resilient and prosperous than ever. We should utilize this as an opportunity to be more efficient, consolidate agencies and to strive for excellence in education by enacting parental choice, merit pay for teachers and more rigorous academic standards,” Pugh said.
A first-generation college graduate, Pugh was Distinguished Graduate in his ROTC detachment, Top Graduate in Squadron Officer School (out of 417 other USAF captains), and he became the youngest ECO Aircrew Evaluator in NATO as a first lieutenant electronic combat officer.
Pugh holds a bachelor’s degree in history, political science, and economics from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in international relations and national security.
“I believe fervently in the spirit of the American dream. I was raised by a single Mom who ran a small bakery, but who demonstrated to us the importance of faith and family, to love our country, serve others humbly, work hard, pursue a quality education and to achieve at the highest levels,” Pugh said. “Senator Jolley leaves a legacy of accomplishment, and I would be humbled to work toward the same goal while serving as the next state senator.”
Elections for Oklahoma Senate District 41 will be held along with other major elections in June of 2016. You can find more information about the candidates on FortySix News 2016 Elections page.