Monday, April 20, 2009

OKGOP Convention Update

Sorry for the lack of updates since the state convention; I've been away from a computer ever since my last post.

First of all, Gary Jones won the state chair race by an overwhelming percentage. I neglected to write down the exact figures, but Michael Bates put them up on his Twitter account. Gary Jones received 73.5% of the vote (1282.4 - apportioned vote), and Cheryl Williams got 26.5% (461.6 - apportioned vote). I expected Gary Jones to win, but not in such a blowout.

What I was especially surprised with was the outcome of the caucus resolution. Coming into the convention, I thought that it might pass, but after Sen. Coburn ripped the caucus, things went downhill in a hurry for it.

Questions asked were not sufficiently answered by the Pro-Caucus folks, and some were blatantly ignored. The crowd sentiment against the caucus began to grow, and culminated when the debate started. Tom Roach spoke for the caucus, and focused not on defending or arguing for the resolution, but on slamming the opponents of the caucus (and calling out specific names). Very unprofessional, and his speaking hurt his cause, and sealed the deal.

The pro-caucus caucus (had to say that) saw the fiery crash coming, and tried to table the amendment indefinitely, thereby saving it for a future convention. However, convention chairman State Rep. John Wright ruled that the convention now 'owned' the resolution, and a tabling motion was out of order. The caucus then proceeded to fail miserably.

State Sen. Randy Brogdon officially announced his intention to run for governor just before the chair vote, and the convention hall erupted (especially when compared to the warm reception Mary Fallin received).

On a different note, the convention chair was superb. I heard many people say that they've never been to a convention that was handled as well as John Wright did. I have tremendous respect for Wright, and this merely confirmed why I do. Jon Wright follows the rules to the T, and is fair to all sides, as was evident at the convention. A better convention chair could not have been found.

All in all, it was a good convention. Over 1200 delegates attended, and the future looks bright for the Republican Party in Oklahoma.

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