Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cantor fundraises for Bridenstine; DC GOP gives up search for opponent?

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Tulsa)

1st District Congressman Jim Bridenstine has been at it from the very beginning. One of the most conservative members of the U.S. House, Bridenstine has been somewhat of a thorn in the side of the less conservative House GOP leadership ever since he refused to vote for John Boehner as Speaker. Bridenstine has formed close ties with other "renegade conservatives", like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), and fought against Congressional GOP leadership on issues like the debt ceiling, government shutdown, and continuing resolutions. He's even one of the few House Republicans to not donate to the NRCC from his campaign.

Because of all of the above, Republican establishment-types (both in Oklahoma and in DC) have barely disguised their disdain for Bridenstine, to the point that ever since he defeated John Sullivan, they have sought to find a candidate they could run against him in 2014. However, it appears that they might have thrown in the towel.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is coming to town on the 26th to participate in a fundraising luncheon for Rep. Bridenstine, hosted by Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett. Also listed as co-hosts are some individuals who did not support Bridenstine in the last primary, who have helped to bankroll races for more establishment-type candidates.

Does this all point to the DC GOP grudgingly coming to terms with being "stuck" with Bridenstine? Perhaps so. Also of interest is the fact that when Bridenstine did not vote for Speaker Boehner, he cast his vote for Eric Cantor. Could there be another reason behind this embrace of Bridenstine?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mayor Coburn unopposed, races in all city council seats

Muskogee Mayor Bob Coburn

Candidate filing for Muskogee's January 14th municipal elections ended yesterday. For the first time since 2002, the incumbent mayor was unopposed, electing Mayor Bob Coburn to a second term by acclamation.

In Ward I, incumbent councilor David Jones has one opponent, John Mark Lowrimore.

In Ward II, incumbent councilor James Gulley unexpectedly filed for reelection after previously announcing that he was not going to, and will face off with Michelle Green.

In Ward III, incumbent councilor Randy Howard is facing two other candidate -- Dale "D." Boots and Ivory Vann.

In Ward IV, incumbent councilor Kenny Payne did not seek reelection. Running to replace him are Marlon Coleman, Claressa Vealy-Dyer, Dean Swan, and former councilor Troy Stoutermire.

Muskogee City Council Ward Boundaries

This is the first election under Muskogee's new "ward-only" voting system. Previously, candidate's had to reside in the ward they were running for, but were elected city-wide, resulting in occasions when a candidate would win his ward, but lose across the city and thus not be elected.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Meadows asks, 'Brogdon for Governor?'


Charlie Meadows, President of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC), wants Randy Brogdon to run for Governor again.

This from Meadows' latest OCPAC email:
"WILL BROGDON RUN FOR GOVERNOR?

After listening to Pay McGuigan this past Wednesday document just how poorly government has performed since Governor Fallin has been in office as a result of her weak leadership, especially in comparison to Kansas, I announced that I would do everything possible to encourage former Senator Randy Brogdon to run for governor again. Especially since he only missed forcing her into a primary runoff by only a little over 4% of the vote and now there is a paltry record for her to run on.

I knew he would be speaking in Guthrie this past Saturday, I was even asked to introduce him at the meeting. Therefore, I tried to be clever and beg him to run and tell us YES if he had been contemplating a run or to just play me along and NOT say NO if he was determined not to run.

The bad news is, no matter how hard I tried to set him up to say YES, during the Q&A time, he would not do so. The good news is, he had the opportunity to crush any thought by saying NO and he would NOT do so. May I suggest, Randy loves to speak about liberty and does so all over the state. Should you run into him, please encourage him to run again. The good citizens all over the state who want good government at least deserve another option than Mary to vote for. "

Whoever runs against Governor Fallin will face formidable, if not insurmountable odds. As of the most recent campaign finance report, her campaign warchest consisted of a paltry $1.2 million.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bartlett defeats Taylor in Tulsa mayoral race

Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Jr.

As of 8:45pm CST, incumbent mayor Dewey Bartlett (R) appears to have solidly defeated his predecessor, Kathy Taylor (D), in Tulsa's mayoral election. KOTV reports Bartlett with 57% and Taylor with 43%, with 84% of precincts reporting.

Former Mayor Kathy Taylor

Although ostensibly non-partisan (Tulsa moved to non-partisan city elections following the 2012 election), this contest turned out to be extremely partisan. While non-partisan races may sound like a nice idea, in actuality, unless the city has a population under 50,000 or so, it doesn't matter -- municipal races will be partisan.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Union loses big in Muskogee VA vote


This week, employees at the Muskogee VA Regional Office torpedoed a proposal to unionize under the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO. 175 (19.7%) of ballot casts were for unionization, while there were 714 (80.3%) votes against.

Both sides claimed that Muskogee's office is one of the only non-union federal government offices in the country.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

RJ Harris: The Evolving Perennial Candidate

Governor Mary Fallin appears to have drawn her first opponent for the 2014 campaign, and the candidate comes with a colorful history.

Meet RJ Harris, Republican Libertarian Independent Democrat candidate for Congress President Congress Governor.

Let's examine the political evolution of Oklahoma's next great perennial candidate.

2010:

RJ Harris, Republican

RJ's first foray into politics was as a Republican candidate in Oklahoma's 4th Congressional District in 2010. He lost to Congressman Tom Cole 77%-23%.

 2012:

RJ Harris, Libertarian

In August of 2011, Harris threw his hat into the ring for President -- this time as a Libertarian. After nine months of campaigning for the nomination, he withdrew his candidacy, citing fundraising difficulties.


RJ Harris, Independent

Since his presidential campaign didn't pan out, Harris ran for Congress again, but this time as an Independent. He came in third (5%), behind Congressman Cole (68%), and Democrat Donna Bebo (29%).

 2014:
RJ Harris, Democrat

Now, he's decided to run for Governor, and as a Democrat. So far, he is the only announced Democratic candidate.

The Daily Oklahoman newspaper writes that "Wallace Collins, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, said Harris is a good candidate for the party and he supports his campaign."  I'll let that comment speak for itself.

The 2014 election is getting more and more interesting...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

2014 Statewide Election Preview: 3Q Finance Reports

As the 2014 elections approach, five incumbent statewide elected officials have yet to draw an opponent, while three have challengers who are filing campaign finance reports. Whether there is a contested race yet or not, the 3rd Quarter ethics reports show an interesting preview of the upcoming electoral contests.

Filing for statewide office in 2014 will be on April 9th to April 11th, with the Primary being held on June 24th. Runoff elections (if necessary) will be on August 26th, and the General election is on November 4th.

Candidates will be listed in order of most cash-on-hand. Incumbents are in bold.

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Scott Pruitt (R)
3Q raised: $86,252.82  -  3Q spent: $27,962.83  -  Cash-on-hand: $123,138.70

AUDITOR & INSPECTOR

Gary Jones (R)
3Q raised: $250  -  3Q spent: $0  -  Cash-on-hand: $6,588.33

GOVERNOR

Mary Fallin (R)
3Q raised: $368,243.12  -  3Q spent: $108,227.86  -  Cash-on-hand: $1,218,401.35

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

John Doak (R)
3Q raised: $51,275  -  3Q spent: $20,955.44  -  Cash-on-hand: $294,475.14

LABOR COMMISSIONER

Mark Costello (R)
3Q raised: $202,000  -  3Q spent: $0  -  Cash-on-hand: $202,000
Michael Workman (D)
3Q raised: $500  -  3Q spent: $1,188.05  -  Cash-on-hand: $40.95

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

Todd Lamb (R)
3Q raised: $382,488.59  -  3Q spent: $9,788.44  -  Cash-on-hand: $414,664.63
Cathy Cummings (D)
3Q raised: $1,750  -  3Q spent: $676.80  -  Cash-on-hand: $1,533.20

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

Joy Hofmeister (R)
3Q raised: $83,136  -  3Q spent: $27,221.75  -  Cash-on-hand: $200,086.61
Janet Barresi (R)
3Q raised: $48,850  -  3Q spent: $41,466.44  -  Cash-on-hand: $149,130.07
John Cox (D)
3Q raised: $69,280.70  -  3Q spent: $10,162.57  -  Cash-on-hand: $58,186
Donna Anderson (D)
3Q raised: $11,877.64  -  3Q spent: $13,845.52  -  Cash-on-hand: $4,395.38
Jack Herron (D)
3Q raised: $3,950  -  3Q spent: $224.80  -  Cash-on-hand: $3,725.20
Freda Deskin (D)
{filed after 3Q deadline}
Ivan Holmes (D)
{filed after 3Q deadline}

TREASURER

Ken Miller (R)
3Q raised: $51,000  -  3Q spent: $672.29  -  Cash-on-hand: $116,186.19


Interesting notes:

  • Big money: Governor Fallin officially tops the million-dollar mark in cash-on-hand, with seven months left before candidate filing. Talk about formidable.
  • Most: Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb raised the most this quarter ($382,000), edging out Fallin by $14,000.
  • Loans: Labor Commissioner Costello ($202,000); John Cox ($50,162.57); Donna Anderson ($1,000)
  • Hot race: The big race of 2014 will be the State Superintendent seat. Two Republicans and five Democrats have campaign accounts right now, and that number will probably go higher.
  • Low spenders: Auditor Gary Jones and Labor Commissioner Costello both spent no money in the third quarter, and Treasurer Ken Miller spent less than $700. 
  • Slow start: Jones raised $250, and Costello raised nothing (outside of his $202k loan).

Pollard elected State President for OFRW


In a return to Oklahoma Republican Party activity, former OKGOP Vice-Chair Pam Pollard was elected today as State President of the Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women.

The biennial convention for the OFRW began yesterday, and ended today.