Steve Fair for Republican National Committeeman

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Steve Fair.pngThis Saturday at the 2012 Oklahoma Republican State Convention, delegates will elect two of its three representatives on the Republican National Committee. (State chairmen are ex officio RNC members.) Oklahoma's National Committeewoman, Carolyn McLarty, is running for re-election and so far has not drawn an opponent. National Committeeman James Dunn is not running for re-election, and two candidates are competing for his place at the RNC table.

I am pleased to endorse my friend Steve Fair of Duncan for election as Oklahoma's Republican National Committeeman. Steve currently is serving his third term as 4th District Chairman and his10th (or so) as chairman of the Stephens County party. Over the years, he has built strong grassroots-driven local party organizations in southwest Oklahoma, developing a how-to manual in the process and creating the state's second-largest annual Republican gathering, the Stephens County Republican Party Fish Fry. It's telling that the 4th District hasn't seen a serious Democratic congressional candidate since 2002. State legislative seats in southwest Oklahoma, once a solidly Democrat-dominated area, have turned from blue to red during Steve's two decades of leadership.

In addition to those chairmanships, Steve has served on the state party's executive committee and budget board, an as the Oklahoma Republican Party Treasurer. His day job involves marketing for an Oklahoma-based food manufacturer.

More than an organizer, Steve Fair is also a thinker and a writer, producing a weekly column on policy and politics which appears in several area newspapers and is posted on his blog, Fair and Biased. He is a consistent voice for the sanctity of human life, the right to keep and bear arms, reducing the size and scope of government, and government transparency and accountability.

Steve is active in his church as music director. He and his wife Debbie have two grown children (one of whom, Jeremy Fair, was recently installed as pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, a conservative evangelical congregation in Tulsa), and three grandchildren.

One of the Republican Party's most pressing needs is to have more principled conservatives on the RNC who can work as a team to influence the direction of the party. Because of the RNC's structure -- three members for each state and territory, without regard to the state's size or the success of the GOP there -- moderate representatives of unsuccessful state parties from the northeast and midwest carry outsized influence. Steve will be a principled conservative voice on the RNC, bringing the perspective of a successful grassroots party builder, someone who has successfully grown the Republican Party's influence in a traditionally Democratic region by promoting the GOP's conservative principles, not by compromising principles or blurring distinctions between the parties.

A word about the other candidate: Richard Engle, a Ron Paul fan, has done an impressive job of self-promotion in this campaign, handing out brightly colored and oddly-shaped flyers at county conventions, but I have my doubts about his ability to operate as part of a conservative coalition on the RNC. That doubt is grounded in something I observed back in 2004. Although Engle had managed to get himself elected as president of a national party auxiliary organization, he couldn't persuade his fellow Oklahoma Republicans to send him to the Republican National Convention that year as a delegate or alternate. He failed to win a seat at his district convention, was not included on the state executive committee's slate of at-large delegates, and then tried and failed to win a seat as a nominee from the floor of the state convention, losing by what I recall was a wide margin. It was interesting to me that, despite the national title, he didn't seem to have the respect of the Republicans who dealt most closely with him on a regular basis. Why that is, I don't know; I haven't dealt with him personally.

But this might be a clue: Richard Engle describes himself in his Twitter profile thus: "Husband. Father. Author. Philanthropist. Statesman." That's heavy, man.

By contrast, Steve Fair writes of himself:

The real issue is what will Steve Fair do if elected? First, I will be a conservative voice on the RNC. Second, I will work to build our county GOP organizations. Third, I will help educate the public on issues, and fourth, I will make building the foundation fun. Those that know me know I don't take myself very seriously, but I take the cause very seriously.

That's the truth. In all my dealings with Steve Fair, he has always been friendly, kind, and good-humored, never pompous or arrogant, a principled conservative who leads through devoted service to his fellow Republicans. He embodies the best aspects of Oklahoma character and values. Oklahoma Republicans would be blessed to have Steve Fair representing our values on the Republican National Committee, and if you're a state convention delegate, I hope you'll join me in voting for Steve Fair.

MORE: Richard Engle endorsed Ron Paul at a rally in December 2011, calling for people "to join me in every effort to put him in the White House." I have to wonder if "every effort" includes subverting the will of Oklahoma's Republican voters, 90% of whom rejected Ron Paul in the presidential preference primary, by sending a slate of Paulbots as Oklahoma's delegation to Tampa. (Video here of Engle speaking to a Ron Paul rally.) Steve Fair endorsed Herman Cain early in the campaign but wrote that Rick Santorum is "probably the best qualified and the most consistent with his message."

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1 Comments

Jamison said:

I'm with ya, Michael. Steve is the best candidate for the job.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 10, 2012 10:43 PM.

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