Thomas Allen "Tom" Coburn, M.D. (born March 14, 1948), is an American politician, medical doctor, and Southern Baptist deacon. A member of the Republican Party, he currently serves as the junior U.S. Senator from Oklahoma. In the Senate, he is known as "Dr. No" for his tendency to place holds on and vote against bills he views as unconstitutional.Coburn was elected to the U.S. in 1994 as part of the Republican Revolution. He upheld his House of Representativescampaign pledge to serve no more than three consecutive terms and did not run for re-election in 2000. In 2004, he returned to political office with a successful run for the U.S. Senate. Coburn is a fiscal and social conservative, known for his opposition to deficit spending and pork barrel projects, and for his leadership in the pro-life movement. He supports term limits, gun rights, and the death penalty and opposes gay marriage.While Coburn announced on February 12, 2010 that he was running for a second term in the Senate, he also announced that he would not run for re-election to a third term in the Senate in 2016.
Coburn was born in Casper, Wyoming, the son of Anita Joy (née Allen) and Orin Wesley Coburn.He graduated with a B.S. in accounting from Oklahoma State University, where he was also a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. In 1968, he married Carolyn Denton, the 1967 Miss Oklahoma; their three daughters are Callie, Katie, and Sarah, a leading operatic soprano. One of the Top Ten seniors in the School of Business, Dr. Coburn served as president of the College of Business Student Council. From 1970 to 1978, Dr. Coburn served as manufacturing manager at the Ophthalmic Division of Coburn Optical Industries in Colonial Heights, Virginia. Under his leadership, the Virginia division of Coburn Optical grew from 13 employees to more than 350 and captured 35 percent of the U.S. market. Coburn pursued a medical degree and graduated from the University of Oklahoma Medical School with honors in 1983.
Coburn and his wife are members of First Baptist Church of Muskogee.In spite of their ideological differences, Coburn is a friend of President Barack Obama.
They became friends in 2005 when they both arrived in the Senate at the same time.
House of Representatives
In 1994, Coburn ran for the House of Representatives in Oklahoma's Democratic 2nd Congressional District, which was based in Muskogee and included 22 counties in northeastern Oklahoma. Coburn won by a 52%–48% margin, becoming the first Republican to represent the district since 1921. Coburn was one of the most conservative members of the House. He supported "reducing the size of the federal budget," wanted to make abortion illegal, and supported the proposed television V-chip legislation. During his three terms in the House, Coburn also played an influential role in reforming welfare and other federal entitlement programs.
In 2004, Coburn chose to challenge the establishment Republican candidate for the open Senate seat being vacated by Don Nickles. Former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys (the favorite of the state and national Republican establishment) and Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony joined the field before Coburn. However, Coburn easily won the primary with 61% of the vote to Humphreys's 25%.
In the general election, he faced Brad Carson, a Democrat who had succeeded him in the 2nd District and was giving up his seat after only two terms. In the election, Coburn won by a margin of 53% to Carson's 42%. While Carson routed Coburn in the heavily Democratic 2nd District generally, Coburn swamped Carson in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and the closer-in Tulsa suburbs. Coburn won the state's two largest counties, Tulsa and Oklahoma, by a combined 86,000 votes, more than half of his overall margin of 166,000 votes. Coburn's Senate voting record is as conservative as his House record. Tom Coburn was re-elected in 2010. He received 90% of the vote in the Republican primary and 70% in the general election. Coburn has announced that he will stick to his term limits pledge and retire from the Senate in 2016. In May 2011, the Senate Ethics Committee identified Coburn in their report on the ethics violations of Senator John Ensign. The report stated that Coburn knew about Ensign's extramarital affair and was involved in trying to negotiate a financial settlement to cover it up.
June 6th, 2011