With Democrat Governor Brad Henry being term limited this year, two Democrats and four Republicans are running to succeed him.
Because of events that have occurred in the past few months, I have hesitated on whom to vote for in this Republican primary.
I had intended for over a year to vote for Randy Brogdon.
Randy has a proven track record as the most conservative member of the State Senate, and perhaps in the entire legislature. He authored legislation that would have restrained government spending, and perhaps eliminated the budget problems Oklahoma is currently undergoing. He stood up for the Constitution. Randy would, as Governor, stand up against intrusions by the federal government (such as ObamaCare).
Randy is one of the people that I held to a high standard, and who consistently met that high standard. I trusted Randy to make the right decisions in the Senate, and although not perfect (nobody is) he usually did. We could use more Randy Brogdons in politics.
Up until the past few weeks, I was a strong supporter of Randy Brogdon. However, recent events have shaken my confidence in Randy Brogdon's ability to campaign in a manner that is strategic, positive, principled, and does not compromise my beliefs and values.
I have been disappointed with how Randy's campaign has been run since almost the very beginning. They have made so many strategic mistakes I couldn't count them all. Shoddy work has been rampant. Communication has been poor. Deception and misleading statements have been too frequent. The campaign has attacked too many individuals, running for office and not.
Unfortunately, the buck stops with the candidate. These and other mistakes, have caused me to question how Randy's gubernatorial office would be run, what kind of people he would surround himself with, and how they would perform their duties. In a way, my problems with the Brogdon campaign have had nothing to do with Randy, and yet everything to do with Randy.
Instead, I will be voting for Robert Hubbard.
Robert Hubbard is a business owner from western Oklahoma who gets the picture. Like Randy, he understands that government has a proper role, and that government all too often has overstepped that role. He understands that personal responsibility is important, and that government is hampering that. Like Randy, he understands that cuts need to be made, and he has the willpower to do what needs to be done.
At the last several meetings I attended where all (or most) of the gubernatorial candidates were present, Robert was the only candidate to actually use facts and figures and solutions, instead of generic political rhetoric.
Unlike Mary Fallin, Hubbard attends the gubernatorial forums across the state. He is not afraid to answer questions, or face the voters. Unlike Randy Brogdon, Hubbard has refrained from negative campaigning, or attacking people who are not supporting/endorsing him. With fewer resources, and less political experience, Robert has avoided those mistakes that Brogdon has made. Robert and Randy hardly differ on the actual issues - if Randy's campaign had been run right, this post would have been very different.
Do I honestly expect Robert Hubbard to win the primary, or make a runoff? No. However, Randy Brogdon made too many moves I disagreed with for me to vote for him. Given what has occurred, and what my convictions are regarding this race, I could not bring myself to vote for Brogdon in the primary. It pains me to do this, and I deeply regret being forced to leave my first candidate of choice, but I felt it was a necessary move. That said, I don't think any less of those who will vote for Brogdon. My vote for Robert Hubbard could be called a "protest" vote, or a vote based on principle. I am making a statement with my vote that I want and expect better. Robert meets those standards.
If Randy had kept a principled, positive campaign, my vote would be going to him. He didn't, and so my vote will be going to Hubbard. I encourage conservatives to vote for Robert Hubbard, but if you can get past what I could not, Randy Brogdon is also a good choice. While she would be a good governor, Mary Fallin is just not as conservative as these two gentlemen, who I think could make great governors. As with those Brogdon voters, I don't think ill of Fallin supporters.
However, come July 28th, we conservatives and Republicans must unify behind whomever becomes the nominee. Too much is at stake to risk Jari Askins or Drew Edmondson as governor for 4-8 years.
I'll be voting for Robert Hubbard.
Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. - John Quincy Adams
You can learn more about Robert and his campaign by visiting his website at www.HubbardOKGov2010.com. He's also on Twitter (@HubbardOKGov10) and Facebook.
Robert joins Tom Coburn, Dana Murphy, Owen Laughlin, John Wright, Gary Jones, Janet Barresi, John Doak and Daniel Edmonds as my endorsed candidates for the July 27th Republican primary. Stay tuned for more endorsements!