In a surprising, late-December announcement, the Del City Democratic representative announced he would be returning to the state Capitol in 2018 to fulfill the final year of his elected term. This news represents a reversal for Inman, who, in October, announced his sudden withdrawal from the governor’s race and intent to resign his seat in the House of Representatives.
But Inman never submitted an official form of resignation, and Nondoc reports that the lack of a formal gesture led to wide speculation that the former House Minority Leader could return.
Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, has said Inman will not return to his former leadership role with the House’s minority party. Rep. Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs, who filled in for Inman after his departure, will reportedly retain the role.
It is hard to say whether Inman’s decision to serve out the final year of his term is a wise one. The full reasoning behind his withdrawal from the state House and governor’s race, in which he was arguably the Democratic favorite, has never been made public.
In an October statement, Inman said his decision to resign was born from “the stresses and strains of my career, the time away from my family, and the choice to wrongly prioritize my life’s decisions… I can no longer ask my wife and children to sacrifice for me.”
Inman’s motivation for returning is more obvious. The state continues to face a seemingly endless budget crisis, and the Democratic Caucus needs every vote in a battle with the Republican Majority.
Don’t expect Republicans to be sympathetic to Inman’s sense of duty. If there was a problem serious enough to merit an abrupt withdrawal from the governor’s race and public service, has that problem really been adequately addressed in the last two months?