Friday, March 29, 2013

Meet the Candidates: Dave Weston, OKGOP Chair hopeful

David Weston, candidate for Oklahoma Republican Party chairman

Following Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell's announcement that he will not be seeking reelection, and Vice-Chair Pam Pollard's similar statement, delegates to the OKGOP's 2013 state convention will be electing brand new leaders for both top positions in the state GOP.

I have contacted each of the publicly announced candidates for these two offices, and have received a response from a candidate for Chairman. As I hear back from additional candidates for Chair or Vice-Chair, their responses (or non-responses) will be posted.

First up, Dave Weston.

1. Tell us a little bit about your personal side.
Oklahoma State University, B.S., Agricultural Economics. Seventeen years of marriage to wife Tyra. Three children: Tanner (14), Savana (12) and Sela (10). Resident of Lexington since 1997. Member of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Purcell, OK. Dave has spent twenty plus years in the Financial Industry. For the past six years he has worked as the Manager of Operations and Marketing for an Investment Advisory Firm which manages over $150 million in customer assets.

2. What involvement have you had in the past with the Republican Party (from precinct-level to RNC)? If possible, include approximate dates.
Dave started attending the Cleveland County Men’s Luncheon in 2001 and served as Treasurer from 2002 until 2004. He participated in Steve Largent’s gubernatorial campaign in 2002. He also served as local precinct Chairman and Cleveland District Committeeman during that time. In 2004, Dave served as Victory Coordinator for Cleveland County where over 200 volunteers were recruited to distribute over 13,000 packets of literature. Over 17,000 phone calls were logged and volunteers were posted at all of the home OU football games as a part of the GOP campaign surge.

From 2005-2006, Dave served as Finance Director for the Oklahoma Republican Party, recruiting Senator Sam Brownback, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Senator John McCain to headline fundraising events. Dave also coordinated the direct mail fundraising and telemarketing efforts, and served as the Statewide Voter Vault Coordinator during this time.

In 2007-2008, Dave supported the Oklahoma Division of Huck’s Army as Grassroots Coordinator and was selected as an At-Large Alternate Delegate to the 2008 National Convention in Minneapolis.

Dave worked in 2009-2010 for Congressman James Lankford’s successful election and during 2011-2012, worked for Congressman Jim Bridenstine’s campaign. During both operations Dave was involved in establishing campaign management software; developing strategies for grassroots outreach and fundraising; managing campaign data; targeting favorable voters, and establishing voter ID and voter turnout.

3. Do you currently hold any Republican Party office?
Dave currently serves on the Cleveland County GOP Executive Committee

4. What political involvement have you had outside of the Republican Party (i.e. campaigns, elected office, political groups, etc.)? If possible, include approximate dates.
(Please see question 2)

5. There have been eight state conventions in the last decade; how many have you attended (and which)?
There have been eight conventions and two State GOP rallies and Dave has attended every one except the 2007 Convention

6. What prompted you to run for this office?
Personal conviction and the affirmation several people whom I respect.

7. What are your top priorities if elected chairman?
  • Voter registration-we must become the majority party in voter registrations
  • Rebuild the County Parties from the precinct level
  • Send our republican delegation intact back to the beltway
  • Re-elect our statewide officeholders
  • Maintain GOP super-majorities in the State House and Senate
  • Expand GOP officeholders from the State House to the Courthouse

8. What five issues should the Republican Party focus on politically?
We don't need to change our message, we need to stay true to our core founding principles and improve the delivery of our message to mobilize our base.

9. List some of the individuals who are publicly supporting your candidacy that delegates might recognize.
National Committeeman Steve Fair; State Auditor & Inspector Gary Jones; Congressman Jim Bridenstine; former Representative George Faught.

10. Here's your closing statement - cover whatever you want to talk about.
I see two challenges which threaten our future. The first is complacency. We cannot afford to replace optimism with contentment. As has been said: “The arrogance of success is to think that what we did yesterday is good enough for tomorrow.” The second is discord. We can fight each other for control while our adversary marches on, or we can come together and work to achieve common goals. As Sallust explained: “Small communities grow great through harmony, great ones fall to pieces through discord.” To keep moving forward, we must grant each other the grace of a short-term memory when we have been offended.
Thank you for participating, Dave!

You can find more information about Dave Weston at his campaign website. I will post other interviews from additional candidates when I receive them.

Current candidates for OKGOP Chair:
Dave Weston -- survey here
Amanda Teegarden -- survey here

Current candidates for OKGOP Vice-Chair:
Denise Crosswhite Hader -- survey here
Sara Jo Odom -- survey here
Richard Engle -- survey here


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