Oklahoma Democratic Party data policy favors incumbents, candidate says
by Randy Ellis

Democrat Bruce Fisher says when he decided to run for the state House of Representatives, he thought he could count on the Oklahoma Democratic Party to assist all Democratic candidates equally in getting their messages out to voters.

Instead, Fisher says he encountered a system that favors incumbents.

“I’m shocked,” said Fisher, 62, of Oklahoma City. “The Democratic Party, of all parties, should be encouraging the most participation and fairest opportunity for the electorate to choose who they want to represent them.”

What has Fisher upset is a decision by Oklahoma Democratic Party officials to revoke his access to a voter database maintained by the Democratic Party after his primary opponent, incumbent Mike Shelton, D-Oklahoma City, decided to seek re-election in House District 97.

Fisher said the database is a “brilliant tool” that is critical to running an effective campaign. It contains difficult-to-obtain information, such as contact information for district voters, as well as their voting histories. The data enables campaign workers to efficiently target their efforts toward Democratic voters most likely to vote in the upcoming June 24 primary election, he said.

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