Brogdon endorsement boosts Fallin’s campaign

After a hard-fought Republican primary in which he garnered nearly 40% of the vote, state Sen. Randy Brogdon has endorsed U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin in the November general election.

In an interview with CapitolBeatOK shortly after Brogdon made his endorsement announcement today (Wednesday, August 4), Fallin said she supported Brogdon’s push for reform of the initiative and referendum process, including two of the 12 ballot measures on this year’s November ballot in Oklahoma. She said, “We talked about those issues, and I support what he is doing on that.”

Falllin said she and Brogdon are both concerned about the future of the country, as well as budget shortfalls nationally and in Oklahoma. Fallin said she shares Brogdon’s concerns about the “unconstitutional federal health care bill.” Fallin stressed that she appreciated Brogdon’s concerns “on many issues.” She said they two were “leading the charge for Oklahoma’s state’s rights.”

CapitolBeatOK watched this afternoon while Fallin conducted interviews with a Tulsa World reporter and held a radio session with a Woodward station. Concerning her Democratic opponent, Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, Fallin said, “She’s a nice lady and has been a good friend of mine for a long time. But if Oklahoma wants a conservative governor, I’m the one.”

Fallin said she has been a strong advocate of gun rights and that Askins has not taken a position on the Arizona immigration law. She told CapitolBeatOK, “The main difference between her and me is that I didn’t vote for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.”

In the mid-day press conference at Fallin’s headquarters on N. Classen Boulevard in Oklahoma City, Brogdon said, “If you are a committed constitutional conservative, as I am and as my supporters are, it is extremely important to get out and vote for Mary Fallin this November.”

Brogdon told reporters, “Unlike her Democratic opponent, Mary has fought tooth and nail against President Obama’s unconstitutional federal takeover of the health care system. She’s stood up for gun rights and she’s stood by Arizona in their fight to enforce the rule of law and stop the flood of illegal immigration at our borders. Mary is the conservative choice for governor in November, and I am asking those constitutional conservatives who supported my campaign to now support Mary in hers.”

Responding to the endorsement, Fallin praised Brogdon for his conservative commitment and what she characterized as  “tenacious campaigning.”

She added, “Senator Brogdon is a principled leader and an energetic campaigner. He has a bright future in our party. I am pleased to have his support and I can assure both him and his supporters that I am ready to restore conservative principles to the governor’s office and pursue the policies of limited government, individual rights and fiscal discipline.”

In a follow-up interview with CapitolBeatOK, Sen. Brogdon said he was proud to endorse Fallin. Brogdon said his new group, Freedom’s Roll, will emphasize “defense of our freedom.”

He said the organization would focus initially on this year’s cluster of statewide ballot propositions, providing white papers and other information to help citizens “make informed choices.” The focus on ballot questions, he said, “is a function of the time of year we’re in, the election season.” He said future work would include a strong focus on state legislation and candidate assessments.

State Republican party chairman Matt Pinnell applauded Brogdon for joining Fallin’s other two competitors for the nomination, Robert Hubbard and Roger Jackson, in giving Fallin “unconditional support.”

In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Pinnell said, “Oklahoma needs a strong, conservative leader to create jobs and move this state forward. Mary has proven to be that leader. As a state representative, a lieutenant governor and now as a congresswoman, she’s fought for limited government, individual liberty and the kind of pro-growth policies that create prosperity.”

Pinnell’s statement included a critique of the Democratic nominee, saying she “has buried her head in the sand and refused to take a stand on the issues Oklahomans care about. Whether it’s health care, immigration or gun rights, Jari Askins would rather avoid tough questions than dare to challenge President Obama and his policies. That’s not leadership, and it’s not going to fool Oklahoma voters.”

Pinnell said the party nominee would be seeking not only Republican votes, but “independents and conservative Democrats as well.”