Saturday, April 13, 2013

Meet the Candidates: Amanda Teegarden, OKGOP Chair hopeful

Amanda Teegarden, candidate for Oklahoma Republican Party chairman

With this Saturday being the 2013 Oklahoma Republican Party State Convention, we continue our series on the individuals who have publicly announced their candidacy to replace outgoing Chairman Matt Pinnell and outgoing Vice-Chair Pam Pollard. Today, let's look at the responses from the last public candidate for Chair, Amanda Teegarden.

The other announced candidate is Dave Weston.  The candidates for vice-chair are Denise Crosswhite Hader (her survey is posted here), Richard Engle (his survey is posted here), and Sara Jo Odom (her survey is posted here). It is my hope that this series will enable delegates to the state convention to come to a decision on which candidates to support.

Now, meet Amanda Teegarden.

1. Tell us a little bit about your personal side (i.e. family, church, occupational
background, etc.)

Amanda Teegarden has lived in Oklahoma for the last 30 years and calls Tulsa home, where she lives with her husband Mark, and their family. She is happy to report she is expecting her first grandchild later this year.

Amanda is a pro-life, born-again Christian. She attends Heartland Church in Tulsa. Amanda is the Executive Director of OK-SAFE, Inc. (Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise), a 501(c) 4, a non-profit corporation formed in 2006. OK-SAFE is dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Free Enterprise system and the Constitutional Sovereignty of Oklahoma and the United States.

For several years Amanda has been the co-host of America in the Balance on Truth in Focus Internet radio. She is a frequent guest on national radio shows, speaking often at national conferences on issues of public policy and liberty.

With a background in business management, Amanda spent 16 years in Retail Management, and as a small business owner. When she became a stay-at-home mom she worked part time. She knows how to work with people and organize, as evidenced by the growth of effective grassroots efforts in OK over the last 8 years.

2. What involvement have you had in the past with the Republican Party (from precinct-
level to RNC)? If possible, include approximate dates.

Amanda is a life-long Republican and has been actively involved in numerous campaigns in Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District. Amanda has served several terms as Precinct Chair, a position she currently holds in Tulsa County. In the last 9 years she has served in various committees, including on the County and State Executive Committees, the County and State Platform and Rules Committees, and has been/and is a member
of several conservative GOP clubs.

3. Do you currently hold any Republican Party office?

In March Amanda was elected to the 1st District 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.

Amanda has helped in several campaigns in the Tulsa area – from three Mayor’s races; 1 House and 2 Senate District races (the latest being the successful 2012 campaign to elect Sen. Nathan Dahm to office, the state’s youngest Senator); and walking for the Bridenstine campaign in 2012.

5. There have been eight state conventions in the last decade; how many have you
attended (and which)?

I think every one since 2006 or 2007.

6. What prompted you to run for this office?

Teegarden was called by many supporters to consider running. It was a tough decision for her because last month she was elected as a member of the 1st District Committee. “After four days of prayer, thought and consultation,” she said, “I decided that I would accept the call and take on this new challenge.”

7. What are your top priorities if elected as vice-chair?

Amanda Teegarden is motivated by devotion to principle, implementation of conservative policy, and effective grassroots mobilization. “We can grow the Republican Party while still standing by our core principles. We can engage in coalition building, and work to educate the people of Oklahoma on the principles the Republican Party stands for. We can do this while pursuing candidates for office and financial support. Our efforts must include outreach and inclusion of more young people into the Republican Party, many of whom are anxious to be more involved in the pursuit of good government.”

On candidate recruitment, Teegarden says, “My years of activism on behalf of limiting the power of government have prepared me to recruit and promote candidates that stand for decentralized, state and local based power.”
8. What five issues should the Republican Party focus on politically?

Limited Government and Candidate Recruitment -
“My years of activism on behalf of limiting the power of government have prepared me to recruit and promote candidates that stand for decentralized, state and local based power. The ultimate authority is the individual – the authority that all government operates with is granted by individuals to the state, and by the states to the federal government. When you elect me, you will have an advocate for the individual leading your Republican Party”.

Transparency / Open Door Policy -
“The ultimate authority of the Republican Party is the precinct, and the authority of the precinct is the activist. As your State Chair, I will emphasize the Party is governed from the bottom up, not the top down. I will involve the various groups around the state who advocate issues in agreement with our platform, and make sure they have both a seat at the table and a voice in the debate. My years as Executive Director of OK-SAFE have shown me how effective activism is outside the Party – it is time to bring that energy inside.”

Platform -
“The core principles of the Republican Party are expressed in our Platform. Our public officials should be familiar with our Platform, and should be encouraged to stand up for it. As Chair I will work to remind them of what they espoused when they ran as a Republican – and what we expect them to do. We must restore the relevance of our Party and the label “Republican” in the eyes of the public.”

Policies -
“I am well known for my advocacy. I have studied the policies concerning most Oklahomans, including “Obama Care”, the chipping away of our 2nd Amendment rights, the adoption of the Common Core State Standard, and infringements on both individual liberty and property rights. These policies, and others like them, are a direct assault on our God-given rights to life, liberty, and property and are leading to the overgrowth of government and diminution of local control.

9. List some of the individuals who are publicly supporting your candidacy that delegates
might recognize.

The growing list of endorsements is featured on the website, including that of Rep. (Pastor) Dan Fisher, Dan Keating, former Rep. Charles Key, 1st Dist. Committee Member Don Wyatt, State Committee Members TC Ryan and Joanna Francisco, OK2A, Tom DeWeese of the American Policy Center, various grassroots groups leaders, County and Precinct Chairman, as well as the Tulsa Beacon newspaper.

10. Here's your closing statement - cover whatever you want to talk about.

The Republican Party has an opportunity before them – by acknowledging our Founding Principles and standing by them, we can become the party of choice for the people of Oklahoma.

“America is at an historic crossroads that will determine whether our grandchildren will enjoy the blessings of freedom or the curse of tyranny. Never has the need for principled, courageous state legislators, state, county and local officials, been so great to resist and roll back the power of the Federal government. As your next GOP State Chairman, I will work tirelessly to help make Oklahoma the model for the nation.”

Thanks for participating, Amanda!

And that concludes our survey of announced candidates for chair and vice-chair. Below are the links to each survey. I hope that this series has been informative, and will help delegates decide on which candidates to support for these crucial party offices.

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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