2016GOPOpEdThe Road Ahead

Our Take: Brogdon’s Last Stand

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.

4 thoughts on “Our Take: Brogdon’s Last Stand

  • The article is mostly right. Keep artiest activists libertarian showed up with their mindset on Brogdon. This being centered around former chairman Dave Westin breaking numerous rules within the Oklahoma GOP structure. Further west exactions throughout his tenure drove wedges fracturing the GOP internally and creating factionsrather than creating a spirit of unity within the Oklahoma GOP. Reality is the credentialing debauckle was an example of the failed leadership of recent years I feel I had very little to do with removal of Weston. At best it allowed Pam Pollard to edge Weston out in the first vote. If this would’ve been the case it was well known on the convention floor but the majority of Pollard supporters work to vote for Brogdon therefore increasing his margin of victory in a second vote.where I think the article goes wrong is labeling Brogdon’s recent campaigns as a gaff. Often people run many times to achieve an office. Former State Senatoer Brogdon has one of the highest conservative ratings of nearly anyone in the state legislature. I simply feel this article takes this point to an extreme.
    Bottom line is Westin was removed due to people are tired of politicians not legislating based on principle. Regardless of whether you have a D or an R in front of your name it’s really pointless if you cannot legislate from right principal. And how was one ever to get a principled politician in office under the Republican name with the chairman who cannot lead likewise.

  • Listen to the establishment telling the Hoi polloi that they need to do as the establishment dictates. I certainly hope Mr Brogdon consigns this advice to the trash can that it deserves to find itself in.

  • Mike Craddock

    In Tulsa County the “Establishment” have been in charge for the past 8 years or so and that Establishment was the Libertarian wing. And Tulsa has been a mess including the finances. It wouldn’t have matter who was in the Chair, its the our man or no one; our way or no way, mentality that divides the Republican Party.

    I don’t have much hope that things will be better.

  • Mike Craddock: It may be futile to make the suggestion, but if you choose to follow it, you may find yourself better positioned to comment on the future of the GOP than your post shows you are now. Look up “principled.” Look up “utilitarian.” You will find that you fall into the latter camp. You will also find that those who voted for Mr Brogdon fall largely into the former camp. You will also shortly find that if you and those whose thinking you represent prevail, there will be no GOP worth having. An unprincipled political party has already slipped into the dustbin of history, no matter how “successful” it may seem to those of a utilitarian bent. Just sayin’.


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