Former Oklahoma Congressman
Congressman Wes Watkins was raised on a small cattle and peanut farm near Bennington in southeast Oklahoma. As a young boy, Watkins was involved in 4-H and FFA and later became state FFA president. Wes found time for leadership positions in school despite working three part-time jobs, playing basketball and baseball, and earning the title of salutatorian of his graduating class.
Wes’s determination and success followed him to Oklahoma State University, where he worked on the college farm and lived in a converted chicken house. Wes again showed his leadership skills as president of the OSU student body. He was an honor student and selected as the Outstanding Agriculture Senior. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Agricultural Education from Oklahoma State University.
In 1974, Wes was first elected to public office when he won a seat in the Oklahoma State Senate. Two years later, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He ran for governor in 1990 and 1994. In 1996, Wes again won election for the Third District Congressional seat, which he had previously held from 1977 to 1991. He was re-elected by wide margins in 1998 and in 2000.
In total Wes represented Oklahoma’s 3rd congressional district for fourteen years as a Democrat and six years as a Republican.
One great testament to Wes’s support of CareerTech is that the Wes Watkins Technology Center in Wetumka bears his name.
And The Wes Watkins Center for International Trade & Development is located on the north side of the Oklahoma State University campus. Founded by Congressman Wes Watkins in 1990, the building serves as the hub of international activities for the university.
Interview with Wes Watkins
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: March 1, 2007
Date Published: August 22, 2019
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags: Sears Roebuck, University of Maryland, Carl Albert, Al Gore, 3rd District, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Roosevelt Democrat, Gene Stipe, Boone Pickens, Oklahoma State University, Wes Watkins Center