Pam Pollard joins Randy Brogdon, Dave Weston in race for Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman

OKLAHOMA CITY – Pam Pollard, an architect of voter turnout plans when the party of Lincoln took complete control of state government, announced Monday (December 15) she was running for the chairman’s post in an intra-party contest that will heat up in January.

Pollard is challenging incumbent party chairman Dave Weston, and former state Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, who announced his candidacy this month at the Second Congressional District Republican convention.

Pollard launched her candidacy at the lunch hour meeting of the “High Noon” Club, a popular weekly gathering for conservative activists.

In the 2014 GOP primary for the U.S. Senate seat Tom Coburn vacates early next year, Brogdon ran far behind former House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, and U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City. Lankford won the nomination without a runoff, garnering 57.2 percent to Shannon’s 34.4 percent. Brogdon was far back with just 4.8 percent of the vote.

In contrast to his weak showing in the 2014 campaign, Brogdon ran well in 2010, when he lost the Republican gubernatorial nomination to then-Representative Mary Fallin. Stressing a “constitutional conservative” message in that race, Brogdon garnered 39.41 percent, while Fallin gained the party nod with 54.70 percent support.

In this year’s general election, Republican maintained their strong hold on state government. Weston, launching his bid for a second term at the helm of the party said, “We are very proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last year and a half with quite a few firsts for our party. But we still have a great deal of work ahead of us with a very busy coming year as our city hosts for the first time the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in May. With the confidence of our party faithful, I am committed to continuing our record of successes as Chairman into the 2016 election.”

Lonnie Lou Anderson, Second Congressional District director for the Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women (OFRW), quickly endorsed Pollard in the race, saying he has proven herself effective in organizing grass roots registration and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) drives in the 2010 cycle.

Anderson said the state OFRW, of which Pollard has served as chair, has continued to build momentum during the 2014 campaign cycle.

Pollard worked closely as a grass roots leader with Matt Pinnell, who guided Republicans to their best showing in Oklahoma history four years ago, when the GOP snagged every statewide elected office and solidified control over both Houses of the Legislature. Pollard developed the Republican “72-Hour” program that year, creating turnout plans with targeted precinct goals for all 77 counties. Pollard and Pinnell are widely credited as architects of what the Tulsa World called, in a November 4, 2010 editorial, a “Triumph of Turnout.”

While Republicans sustained their hold on the levers of state power in the recent election, many analysts were perplexed by lower voter turnout, including among the party’s conservative base.

Republican precinct meetings begin January 27, beginning a process of delegate selection that continues at late winter county meetings, concluding with the State Convention on April 11.

You may contact Patrick B. McGuigan at 405-601-3433