The Oklahoma Republican Party today released the National Convention Delegate slate, which will be voted on at the Oklahoma Republican State Convention on May 12th in Norman. Twenty five individuals were selected to serve as at-large delegates for the Republican National Convention (August 27th-30th), with an additional twenty five people chosen to serve as alternates. Over two hundred people applied to be delegates and/or alternates.
On Saturday, pursuant to the Oklahoma Republican Party Rules, the State Executive Committee met to whittle down two hundred plus applicants into a slate of twenty five delegate nominees and twenty five alternate-delegate nominees. The committee also chose two at-large electors and two elector-alternates out of about another dozen applicants.
Almost the entire State Executive Committee was present, either in person or via proxy. As a committee member, I had the privilege to participate in the process. The committee gathered around 8:30am, and interviewed hopefuls almost non-stop from 9am until 5pm. We were able to question around 165 applicants; about sixty people did not show up. The vast majority of interviews were done in person, although we did conduct a few over the phone.
All of the applicants were asked a series of questions, which included their personal views on abortion/right-to-life and the 2nd Amendment, as well as past political involvement, and questions regarding voting at the national convention (all delegates are bound by the rules to vote for the candidate they are assigned to, unless that candidate releases his delegates).
Once interviews ended at 5pm, the committee took some time to go over notes, review application forms, and discuss with fellow members about the different applicants. We cast the first ballot for delegate around 5:30pm. Cutting down the list was by no means an easy task, as many enthusiastic and qualified Republicans had applied for the positions.
Tallying was conducted by four individuals: Wayne Watts counted the individual ballots to ensure the proper amount of votes had been cast, Richard Engle (carrying a proxy for National Committeeman James Dunn) read the votes, Gary Jones recorded the votes, and I served as the observer. Occasionally, all four of us had to deliberate over "voter intent" - i.e. votes that were scribbled out, or on the line between two candidates, etcetera. Counting all of the votes, on each successive ballot, was a tedious process, but we worked out a good system.
Voting went three rounds to reach twenty five delegates, another couple rounds for the twenty five alternates, and one round for elector/elector-alternate. We were able to finish by 8:30pm, a full twelve hours after we had begun.
A great amount of time and work went into forming this slate of nominees, and all Oklahoma Republicans can be proud of the result. The individuals selected by the committee represent a wide array of experience, geography, age, presidential candidate preference, and are a solid group of conservatives who will represent the state well at the National Convention in Tampa.
See below the break for the list of nominees.
Nominated for At-Large National Delegate:
Thad BalkmanNominated for At-Large Alternate:
Mary Ann Cosner
A list of the delegates and alternates elected at the Congressional District Conventions can be viewed here. More information about the Oklahoma Republican State Convention can be found at this link.