Thursday, February 19, 2015

Meet the Candidates: Pam Pollard, OKGOP Chair hopeful

Pam Pollard, candidate for Oklahoma Republican Party chair

Delegates to the Oklahoma Republican Party's State Convention on April 11th will be choosing between at least three candidates for State Chair: Randy Brogdon, Pam Pollard, and Dave Weston. Like I did in 2013, I contacted each of the individuals, and they have all filled out a survey that I hope will help delegates be more informed for the convention. Brogdon's survey can be seen here, and Weston's will be posted in a few days.

Now up, Pam Pollard.


1. Tell us a little bit about your personal side.
I am happily married to my husband Glenn, the step-mom to 6 and Mimi to 12 grandchildren. Glenn and I met in Church soon after he had become a widower and have been happily married for 27 years. I am originally from Florida and played softball for the Univ of Florida, earning the honor of All-Conference pitcher in my sophomore year. After graduating with a degree in Forest Engineering I was sent to work in Idabel, OK. Yes, from Orlando to Idabel, but I fell in love with Oklahoma and have been here 33 years. 
I decided on a career change and in 1988 graduated with a degree in Accounting from East Central University in Ada. I am self-employed which allows me time to be a volunteer, spending most of that time with politics. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the HUGS Project, an organization that supports our troops by sending needed supplies to our troops overseas and is currently raising money to support the Patriot Clinic, a hyperbaric treatment facility to help veterans recover from PTSD and brain trauma.

2. What is your past and present involvement with the Republican Party (from precinct-level to RNC)? If possible, include approximate dates.
Republican Party Offices (Volunteer)  
*=Elected Positions
STATE OFFICES:
*OK GOP State Vice-Chairman (2011-2013)
*Delegate Republican National Convention (2008)
*Republican National Convention Credentials Committee member (2008)
*State Committee Member (2005-present)
*State Convention Delegate, 1998-present, not skipping and years
 State Executive Committee (2008-present)
 State Budget Committee (2011-2013)
 State Credentials Chairman (2005-2011)
 State Platform Committee Member
 State Rules Committee Member 
DISTRICT OFFICES (4th Cong. Dist):
*District Committeewoman (2002-2004)
*Delegate, Republican National Convention (2004)
*Republican National Convention Credentials Committee member (2004)
*District Convention Delegate, 2000,2004,2008,2012
 District Credentials Chairman (2012) 
COUNTY OFFICES (Oklahoma County):
*County Chairman (2005, 2007-2009)
*State Committeewoman (2009-2011)
*County Convention Delegate (1998-present, not skipping any years)
*Precinct Officer (1998-present)
 County Treasurer (2008-present)
 County Credentials Chairman (2001-2005)
 County Platform Chairman
 County Rules Committee Member 
Republican Party Positions- Paid
OK County 72 Hour Program Coordinator, Get Out The Vote 2004
State 72 Hour Director, Get Out The Vote 2012

OK Federation of Republican Women Offices (Volunteer)
CLUB MEMBERSHIP: OKC RW (2013-present), Mid-Del RW (1998-2010, 2012)
Charter member, Heartland RW (2011) 
STATE OFFICES:              
*State President (2014-present)
*State Treasurer (2005-2007)
 Chaplain (2011-2013)
 Oklahoma’s First Ladies (2007-present)
 State Historian (2007-2011)
 State Credentials Chairman (2001-2005)
 Executive Committee (2005-present)
 Board of Directors (2001-present) 
CLUB OFFICES (Mid-Del RW, Heartland RW):
*President-2011 (MDRW)
*2nd VicePresident-2008-2009 (MDRW)
*Treasurer-2003-2007(MDRW), 2010(HRW)
*Secretary-2002 (MDRW)

3. What political involvement have you had outside of the Republican Party (i.e. campaigns, elected office, political groups, etc.)? If possible, include approximate dates.
Brian Maughan for State Senate, Volunteer Coordinator, 2003
Istook for Governor, Office Manager & Scheduler, 2006
Assistant State Director, Americans for Prosperity, 2007-2009
Fallin for Governor, State Director of Coalitions, 2009-2010
Governor Mary Fallin Inaugural Committee, Food Drive Liaison, 2010
State President, Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women, 2014-present

4. What prompted you to run for chairman this year?
I have a deep concern for the future of our Party. The voters have placed their trust in the OKGOP with their votes and their registration, but I continued to ask myself, “But what next?” One major concern is the division between conservatives in our state. I am involved with many political organizations and hear the conservative principles being discussed, yet we are divided. I felt a strong calling to be the leader to unite republicans across the state. I have been involved as an activist and worked along-side almost every organization in the state and have a deep respect for the work each group focuses on. I don’t see differences as a threat; I see them as part of the great mosaic of the Republican Party. 
I love the youth in our party and they know I am there for them! I have continued to work closely with College and Young Republicans and serve on the Exec Comm of the Young Republicans today. We must get these groups reorganized once again!! 
I received many phone calls asking me to step-up and lead the Republican Party to the next level. I felt the burden and said, YES!

5. What do you view as the top three duties of the state chairman?
Because of term limits instituted in 2004 we will have 30 open seats in 2016! We are behind in recruiting leaders to run for these seats, 7 of which are currently held by women. I will work hard to find candidates, be a resource for information and raise funds to provide support for our nominees. We must re-institute the Victory program with its unique financial structure and statewide organization which benefits all candidates from the federal level to the courthouse. 
I will organize, train and support active parties in all 77 counties. We currently have chairs in only 70 counties and I will work to get the message of our Statement of Principles to the counties and raise awareness of the Republican Party in Oklahoma.  
I will raise the necessary funds to support the Party. As OK County Chairman I raised over $100,000 and gave over $25,000 directly to candidates. As OK Federation of Republican Women President I exceeded my fundraising budget by almost $7,000. As State Vice-Chair I worked closely with Chairman Matt Pinnell and the donors who responded with generous support in 2010-2013. I am not afraid to ask for dollars!  

6. What are your top priorities if elected chairman?
My first priority is to create an open line of communication with all republicans in Oklahoma. I believe that trust is built through communication and will organize a quarterly “Conservative Leaders Roundtable” to begin the process of working together to strengthen the greatest asset we have to offer as a party, the people of the Republican Party. 
A very close second priority is fundraising, pure and simple. We must have the necessary funds to operate the Party. I will create a Finance Committee as specified in our rules. I already have the Finance Chairman committed and ready to serve if you put your trust in me to be your next State Chairman. 
WIN THE 30 OPEN SEATS in 2016! I will get to work right away in finding and recruiting conservative republicans to run for office. I am not just looking for legislative seats but we need to work on county, city and school board candidates with equal fervor. OK is a red state but I will not be satisfied until we have conservatives in every level of government.  

7. Fundraising is an important aspect of running the state party. How much do you expect to need to raise to fully fund effective party operations, and how do you intend to approach fundraising for that goal?
As stated above, I have a Finance Committee Chairman waiting for the G-O to get to work raising the resources needed for the busy 2016 election cycle. I know the donors who traditionally support the party and from experience I know they respond to a comprehensive business plan with accountability and proper reporting of the financial status. I will create building “bricks” and ask for support of each brick. That is how roads are paved, one brick at a time and donors love to have their name on the brick. 
For 2016, you’re most likely looking at a $500-750,000 budget. I know in the 2012 cycle it was over a million. I was the Vice Chair and I know what it takes, I am up to the challenge.  
Times have changed with the creation of “dark money” but the unique role of the Republican Party has not changed. I will make sure our donors know that elections are won because of voters and the OK Republican Party will use its resources to reach voters with messaging and organization that will bring the greatest “economy of scale” than any investment they can make. 

8. The individual elected at the state convention will be in office for the 2016 presidential primary. Do you have any plans to increase Oklahoma's influence in the primary process, or to attract more visits by the candidates?
We are in the process of adopting new rules regarding the Presidential Preference Primary in Oklahoma. These new rules will be adopted at our GOP State Convention and I will work with whatever rules the convention adopts. 
I was State Vice Chair during the last Presidential Primary and saw first handed how candidates responded to invitations to come to the Red State. Because of the reputation of our state and the many years of hard work from conservatives, the Southern Republican Leadership Conference will be held in OKC in May of this year. Most Presidential candidates will come to our state and try to win the straw poll for “frontrunner” status. 
My experience has taught me that candidates will come once to a state for the voters then want to return several times for the money! Last cycle we got commitments from the candidates to hold meetings for the voters and not just become a money stop. I will make the same request and organize rallies and meet & greet events so that candidates must face the voter with each stop. Again, the strength of the OKGOP is her PEOPLE!

9. List some of the individuals who are publicly supporting your candidacy that delegates might recognize.
Lynn Windel, former National Committeeman
Bunny Chambers, former National Committeewoman
Mary Rumph, former National Committeewoman
Tom Montgomery. Chairman 2nd Congressional District
Alice Boydstun, Chairman 3rd Congressional District
Lonnie Lu Anderson, President Pittsburg County Tea Party
Margie Drescher, President OKC Tea Party
Mark Keeling, President Grady County Tea Party
Stuart Jolly, Exec Director, Education Freedom Alliance
Bob Dani, President High Noon Club
Morgan Dunsmore, Founder, High School Young Conservatives Club

10. Here's your closing statement - cover whatever you want to talk about.
EXPERIENCE. That is what separates me. While others talk about what they will do, I am reminding delegates of what I have already done. 
My work has been recognized by the OKGOP and in 2009 I received the Party’s Skip Healey Party Builder Award. In 2009 I was also awarded the Americans for Prosperity National Grassroots Activist of the Year Award, 1 of 4 in the nation.  
From training activists, to working on campaigns, to building coalitions, to raising money, to organizing the grassroots, to helping county officers, to working with the young conservatives, to reaching out to minorities, to running statewide organizations, to being elected county chairman, to serving on every committee within the GOP structure, to leading the charge to turn out voters to the polls, I have a successful record in each. 
The future of our party is in diversity; diversity of age, race and gender. We must grow or become obsolete. I am the leader who can build a stronger, unified, youthful and diverse party.   
2016 is about winning elections. As GOTV Director in 2010 I led the program that elected 77% of our candidates and resulted in the headlines of the Tulsa World, “Triumph of Turnout.” 
Who do you trust the most to run an effective Get-Out-the-Vote Victory Program? The answer is who you should cast your vote for State Chair. I believe I’m best positioned to carry out that plan and I look forward to talking to State Convention delegates about that vision.

Thank you for participating, Pam.

You can view fellow candidate Randy Brogdon's survey here, and stay tuned for incumbent chairman Dave Weston's as well.

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