Saturday, April 11, 2015

Brogdon Wins OKGOP Chairmanship

Pam Pollard congratulates Randy Brogdon on his election as OKGOP Chairman

  In an especially competitive 3-way race, Senator Randy Brogdon emerged the victor, to lead the Oklahoma Republicans for the next 2 years.

   Immediately after Gary Jones was officially acknowledged to be convention chairman, his commenced with the first round balloting of the 3-way OKGOP Chairman race. 

   Former Senator, Randy Brogdon emerged a clear frontrunner, garnering 47+% of the first round balloting. Former OKGOP Vice Chair, Pam Pollard outpaced current OKGOP Chair, David Weston, and the stage was set for a final vote.
  While it was expected that Weston's base of support would favor Pam Pollard, Randy Brogdon did get 25% of Weston''s base, and won the office by just over a 6% margin.
  Oklahoma City's Estela Hernandez defeated Ardmore's John Lewis for OKGOP Vice Chair, by a 13% margin. 
 The Oklahoma Republicans gathered in South Oklahoma City this Saturday, to hold their biennial state convention. The event was preceded by months of controversy over procedural mandates imposed by the outgoing chairman. Several of these matters were worked out to a broad consensus of agreement.
  What remained unavoidable was the mess in Weston's credentialing process. Weston tapped a staffer from Senator Lankford's office (Holly Isch), to chair the committee. But in reality, Weston's own state headquarters staff controlled the process of certifying over 1300 delegates from all corners and counties of the state. Major failures of computer software and hardware were blamed for pushing the 10am scheduled start until after 2pm. Since the lunch recess was cancelled, and food was not allowed on the rented church premises; delegates were obviously very committed to the important elections enough to stay through the 5 o' clock hour, in order to complete the entire  order of business.

2015 Convention Chairman, Gary Jones
  The disorganization and delays were especially besetting of Weston's reelection hopes, because he personally took charge of pre-convention committee matters which most chairmen have delegated to competent and independent committees.
  The greatest demonstration of leadership on this day was the masterful and fair work of the convention chairman for the day. Former OKGOP Chair, and current State Auditor, Gary Jones, may have been the only man capable of bringing so much success out of a disastrous scenario. While people had issues with procedural necessities brought on by the system failures, Auditor Jones was universally praised for his skill in finding and implementing solutions "on the fly".
  The convention never did adopt any report from the Credentials Committee. Instead, everyone accepted Gary Jones' solution that whoever possesses a "delegate badge" and a packet of ballots (at the check-in desk when they arrived) was considered a credentialed delegate. He further suggested that the vote tallies of the first round of balloting would suffice as the official number of seated delegates, in case a quorum was to be challenged later in the session. Both of Jones' solutions were unanimously accepted by the frustrated crowd.
  Once the Credentialing mess was remedied, Several rules were amended to work with the new realities and the seated delegates unanimously declared Gary Jones as Convention Chairman for the day. He had already demonstrated that he was the only leader who could accomplish success out of the event.

  The 2015 OKGOP Platform was approved with little resistance, along with a convention resolution excoriating a claimed "non-profit" organization who has been illegally diverting funds into state political races.
  The day ended when 2 proposed amendments to the OKGOP permanent rules were defeated by a clear margin.

David Van Risseghem

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