Randy Brogdon for U. S. Senator

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Randy_Brogdon-Senate_2014.jpgSeven candidates have filed to complete the final two years of U. S. Senator Tom Coburn's term, but if you were to follow the news coverage you might think there were only two candidates in the race.

Three of the seven have been elected officials: Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, U. S. Rep. James Lankford, and State Rep. T. W. Shannon, the former Speaker of the Oklahoma House. The other four candidates are each interesting in their own way, and I may write about them in a later entry.

Six of the seven candidates profess to be in line with the conservative views and values of Oklahoma Republicans on all the key issues of the day. Our decision on June 24th comes down to which one we can trust to maintain consistency with those views in the face of heavy pressure, which one will not be coopted by the Inside the Beltway culture of favor-trading and corporate welfare.

One candidate of the seven has a long record of consistency standing for the rights of Oklahoma taxpayers. Whatever the merits of the other candidates, Randy Brogdon has earned our trust.

Brogdon, a small-business owner in the heat and air industry, was elected in 1998 to the Owasso City Council and was elected as Mayor by his fellow city councilors. In 2002 he was elected to the State Senate, serving two terms and earning the highest ratings possible from conservative groups.

Brogdon was the leading advocate for the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) initiative, a popular measure that was scuttled by special interest litigation. He led the effort to pull Oklahoma out of the effort to build the eminent domain nightmare known as the NAFTA Superhighway through the state. A champion for privacy rights, he led Oklahoma to opt out of the Real ID Act. In 2010, he authored SQ 756, the Oklahoma Healthcare Freedom Amendment. He was one of the few Republican elected officials with the courage to stand consistently with grassroots Tulsa County Republicans against ill-considered boondoggles funded by sales tax increases.

In his 2010 run for governor, Brogdon finished strongly in his home base, winning Tulsa County and surrounding counties in his primary race against Mary Fallin, but he failed to break through in the rest of the state.

Some readers will point out that Brogdon is polling in the single digits. He has been outflanked by T. W. Shannon, who has actively pursued endorsements from conservative national groups and politicians. Local Tea Party leaders and conservative activists have objected loudly to the anointing of Shannon as the grassroots candidate, as the outside groups and politicians didn't bother to talk to locals who know these candidates best.

Brogdon seems to have an aversion to asking for endorsements and support. As an example, even though I knocked doors for Brogdon in 2010, I've not received any contact from the campaign asking for my help this year. This is Campaigning 101: Keep a list of supporters from past runs and reach out to them to help again. People are busy, potential volunteers and donors are swamped with requests from candidates, and if a candidate doesn't ask for help, he isn't going to get it.

Nevertheless, Randy Brogdon is the one candidate I know I can trust to do the right thing consistently in Washington, and thanks to our runoff system, I don't have to vote for a lower-ranked choice in this primary. Unlike some elections, this one doesn't require a tactical vote. I don't notice a bandwagon effect for either Lankford or Shannon. The leading candidates are close enough in the polls that it's unlikely that either will win outright, which means that I might have to choose between Lankford and Shannon in the August runoff. But if enough people realize that they don't have to cast a tactical vote, if they take a closer look at the candidates' records, if they are put off by the back and forth of negative ads between Shannon and Lankford and their respective "dark money" allies, Brogdon might make it into the runoff.

No matter who wins the nomination, there is no realistic danger of a Democrat winning this seat, given how out of sync the Democratic field is with Oklahoma's political values. (Liberal Oklahoma City State Sen. Connie Johnson is the leading Democrat in the race.)

Even if Shannon or Lankford won the primary outright, it would hardly be a tragedy for conservatives. Charlie Meadows of the Oklahoma Conservative PAC had kind words for both after his group gave their endorsement to Randy Brogdon. But here's how Meadows summed up OCPAC's support for Brogdon:

When it comes to Randy Brogdon, the bio is conservative, consistent and reliable. He finished 8 years in the legislature with a lifetime Conservative Index Score of 93, a remarkable feat. He was the first Republican SENATOR to score a perfect 100 on the Index in modern times and he did that in his second year in the legislature and in a few more years following.

On more than one occasion Brogdon used his reasoning skills to persuade his fellow Republican Senators to at least consider the moral arguments on issues. He was an effective lawmaker and earned the trust of the grassroots activists across the state. In the 3 years he served Insurance Commissioner Doak, he worked hard to make the agency lean and efficient. It is in his bones, Brogdon has always been about reducing the size of government and liberty.

In closing, the down side for Brogdon is that he got started late in this effort, especially after switching from the Governor's race to this Senate race. Though he has raised more money and faster than he has anticipated, his funds come from the grass roots and they can never produce the kind of money the "folks in tall buildings" provide. Often times the wealthy contribute because they want something from government and expect elected officials to ask how high when they tell them to jump. On the other hand, the grass roots contribute because they believe in a cause.

Bottom line, I believe Brogdon got the OCPAC nod because the people TRUST him, his whole time in government has been about limiting government and expanding liberty. The grassroots people know he will not be beholden to what I lovingly call the "Oklahoma Mafia", the rich and powerful who happen to be more into fascist capitalism and central planning rather than free market capitalism.

Next Tuesday I'm voting for a candidate with a long record of consistent conservative governance. I'm voting for someone we can trust to represent Oklahoma values faithfully in Washington. I hope you'll join me in voting for Randy Brogdon to be Oklahoma's next U. S. Senator.


Brian Ervin's 2007 profile of Randy Brogdon.

Paul Jacob praises Randy Brogdon during his 2010 run for Governor.

Fivethirtyeight has an analysis of the Oklahoma race that captures the subtleties and appropriately notes Brogdon as a local Tea Party favorite and a factor in the race. They also note SoonerPoll's problems in past Oklahoma Republican primary elections. (Right after the 2010 primary, Oklahoma native and pollster Chris Wilson wrote about polling failures in that election.)

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Graychin said:

All of the Republican Senate candidates seem indistinguishable from one another. Each promises to be the most conservative US Senator in the history of the Republic, each claims to be the finest and most devout Christian gentleman who ever drew a breath, and each claims that his worthy opponents are really stealth radical liberals in sheep's clothing.

Perhaps they are all correct.

Oky1 said:

Others & myself have been helping Brogdon around this area of Creek,Tulsa & Osage county because we've no doubt Randy is the better person for US Senator from Oklahoma.

It was an easy decision for many of us because Randy intervened a few years back on a govt local policy issue & helped us defeat it.

One neighborhood association's estimate was Brogdon helped us stop new govt taxes that amount to about $1500 + a year for the average property owners in these areas.

That was just one issue of the hundreds of reasons many of us are supporting Randy Brogdon tomorrow instead of Tax hiker TW Shannon & US Constitutional Oath Breaker Lankford.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 16, 2014 8:08 PM.

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Fred Jordan's ineligibility: Rebutting Terry Simonson is the next entry in this blog.

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