RNC party elite? Hardly.

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Yesterday, I saw a Politico story with this headline:

GOP rivals humble themselves before the party's elite

Cruz, Kasich and Trump team makes pitches as delegates dangle their support.

Knowing the three people who represent Oklahoma on the RNC, I can't accept the term "party elite." Oklahoma GOP chairman Pam Pollard, national committeeman Steve Fair, and national committeewoman Carolyn McLarty are long-time conservative grassroots volunteers who won the trust of a lot of other grassroots volunteers in order to be elected to their positions. They aren't wealthy, they aren't funded by special interest groups.

By profession, they're an accountant, a marketing director at a company that makes jellies and jams, and a retired small-town veterinarian, respectively.

Pam Pollard held a variety of low-level positions in the Oklahoma County Republican Party and the Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women, rising to higher levels of leadership on the strength of her faithful service. She was a unifying consensus choice to step in when Randy Brogdon resigned the chairmanship last year. She is known as a stickler for fairness and following the rules. She's also a dynamite networker. Here she is at the 2004 Republican National Convention, with a blazer full of pins that she traded with delegates from other states.

Pam Pollard at the 2004 Republican National Convention

Steve Fair served many years as a lonely advocate for conservatism and the Republican Party in southwestern Oklahoma, a rural region that stubborn in clinging to their long-time Democrat voting patterns. Fair slowly built up a strong Republican infrastructure, nurturing qualified candidates who could run for office, first as a leader in the Stephens County party, then as chairman of the 4th Congressional District organization. For years, Fair has written a weekly newspaper column called "Fair and Biased," making the case for conservative ideas to southwestern Oklahoma voters. Fair is not running for reelection as national committeeman, which disappoints me greatly. (I have qualms about the two candidates seeking to replace him.)

Carolyn McLarty is a long-time leader in our state's Eagle Forum chapter. She is a founding member of the Republican National Conservative Caucus, is Chairman of the RNC Resolutions Committee, and has served as the Chairman of the Conservative Steering Committee -- working to organize conservatives on the RNC to resist moves toward the mushy middle.

These three Oklahomans aren't elite in any way except for the hard work they've exerted on behalf of conservative principles in the Republican Party.

UPDATE 2016/04/30: This blog entry received an approving mention and an extended quote in today's editorial roundup in the Oklahoman:

This election cycle has been dominated by claims that the Republican "elite" are at war with the "grass roots" of the party. In a recent post, conservative Tulsa blogger Michael Bates highlights how ludicrous that characterization is....

Indeed, the "elite" label has been applied so broadly one wonders who isn't among that group's alleged members.

Also, I've added links to Steve Fair's blog, and to the profiles of Fair and McLarty on gop.com.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 23, 2016 7:29 PM.

Cruz supporters sweep Oklahoma 1st District Convention was the previous entry in this blog.

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