Drew’s values are rooted in his Oklahoma upbringing. The second son of June and Congressman Ed Edmondson and the nephew of former Oklahoma Governor J. Howard Edmondson, Drew learned the value of true public service early.
Upon graduation from Northeastern State College in Tahlequah, Drew enlisted in the United States Navy, served a tour of duty in Vietnam, and earned several prestigious service medals.
After the war, Drew’s first job was as a speech and debate teacher at Muskogee Central High School. He was elected to the state legislature in 1974, and he graduated from the University of Tulsa School of Law in 1978. He was named Chief Prosecutor for the Muskogee County District Attorney’s office in 1982. He was elected District Attorney that same year and served in that position for 10 years.
In 1994, Drew was elected Oklahoma Attorney General and served 16 years. Looking back on his four terms in office as Attorney General, a few of Drew’s accomplishments include the following:
- Taking on Big Tobacco as one of eight Attorneys General to negotiate a record-breaking settlement agreement with the country’s largest tobacco companies. He led the charge to establish the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, which constitutionally protected the settlement money received by Oklahoma and ensured that it can only be spent on public health. To date, the Tobacco Trust balance stands at more than $1 billion.
- Protecting and preserving Oklahoma’s natural resources by standing up to corporate polluters in the Illinois River Watershed.
- Putting more than $12 million in technology and training into Oklahoma public schools through the Oklahoma Educational Technology Trust.