Here is our take on the events of Saturday. Perspective and coverage from those who were there…
This past Saturday, the Oklahoma Republican Party met in Oklahoma City for its State Convention. While many items were on the agenda, the race for State Chairman was the main event.
The OKGOP had the most competitive three-way race for State Chair in almost ten years, when Gary Jones defeated incumbent Tom Daxon and Tulsan Jerry Buchanan.
In the first round of balloting, former State Senator Randy Brogdon garnered 47.45%, OFRW President Pam Pollard 29.11%, and current OKGOP Chairman Dave Weston came third place with 23.43%. On the second ballot, Brogdon prevailed in a close race with 53.35% in the runoff.
Many were shocked by the results, including the AP, who seemed flabbergasted that Chairman Weston could be defeated after the election successes of 2014. We aren’t so surprised.
What Southern State Chairs, in particular, have begun to learn is that their activist base now expects Republican wins. If you have an “R” in front of your name in the South, you got a good chance of winning. Activists now want more than just electing Republicans out of their State Parties. Fair or unfair, that is the reality.
A lot of people will point to the registration and credentialing delays on Saturday and say that hurt Weston. We don’t buy it. Activists showed up with their minds made up. Weston deserved reelection based on the Nov, 2014 election results. Unfortunately for him, activists want more than wins at the ballot box.
Which brings us to Randy Brogdon. There is no question about it: this is Brodgon’s last stand. After all the botched campaigns and gaffes, he somehow someway finds himself the Chairman of the most powerful and influential political party in Oklahoma. Very few people get a second chance to define their legacy. He knows it, and because of that fact, we believe he will play nicely in the sandbox. There will be bumps in the road — there always are in party politics — but this is his last chance and we don’t think he’ll blow it.