Matt Pinnell for Oklahoma Republican Party chairman

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Last week, Oklahoma Republican state party chairman Gary Jones resigned his post last week to jump into the race for State Auditor and Inspector. Jones had run twice before, in 2002 and 2006, coming close each time to defeating Democrat Jeff McMahan. No viable Republican candidate emerged to challenge McMahan's appointed replacement, Democrat Steve Burrage, so once again Jones, a CPA and former Comanche County Commissioner, stepped into the 2010 race. Whatever Burrage's accomplishments since taking over from his felonious predecessor, Jones gets the lion's share of the credit for bringing the corrupt activities of McMahan and his cronies to light. There can hardly be a better qualification for State Auditor.

pinnell_headshot-150x200.jpgWith Jones out, the Oklahoma Republican State Committee will meet later this month to elect a replacement. The only announced candidate so far is Matt Pinnell.

Pinnell would bring a great deal of nuts-and-bolts campaign experience to the job, exactly what the party organization needs going into this crucial statewide election. Pinnell served as Director of Operations for the Oklahoma Republican Party under two state chairmen, Tom Daxon and Gary Jones, working with county chairs across the state and helping to.raise unprecedented levels of contributions.

In 2008, Pinnell served as director for Oklahoma Victory, the state party effort to get out the vote for Republicans up and down the ticket. The result: The highest victory percentage in the nation for John McCain and Sarah Palin -- 65.4% -- and a sweep of every county in the state, plus a big win for U. S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and a Republican majority in the Oklahoma Senate for the first time ever. Previously, Pinnell had served as a campaign aide to Steve Largent, Scott Pruitt, and Tom Coburn. More recently, Pinnell served as executive director of American Majority-Oklahoma, training thousands of potential candidates and activists in the basics of effective political action.

In these roles, Matt Pinnell has dealt with Republican officials, local party officials, candidates, consultants, and grassroots activists across the state. Because he has experience in all the diverse domains of party operations, and because he knows all the players in state Republican politics, he won't let campaign consultants drive the state party machinery. (If you want to know what happens when consultants are allowed to run the show, see South Carolina. Or closer to home, see the mess involving former Speaker Lance Cargill and the Oklahoma State House Committee.)

I've had the pleasure of working with Matt on a number of Republican Party efforts, and although I've stepped down from any official party responsibilities and won't have a vote, I'm happy to urge State Committee members to cast their vote for Matt Pinnell for Oklahoma Republican Party chairman.

MORE: Matt Pinnell's letter to the Oklahoma Republican State Committee.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 13, 2010 10:10 PM.

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