Brogdon Switching Campaign From Governor To Senate?

Roll Call is reporting that Randy Brogdon, former state senator, is considering switching his campaign to the special election for the Senate instead of continuing to challenge incumbent Governor Mary Fallin in the Republican primary. 

Roll Call – “He has got a lot of people inside of Oklahoma, probably eight or nine out of 10, that are urging him to run for Senate, and he is listening very intently to those urges,” Brogdon senior adviser Louis Waller said when reached by CQ Roll Call.

Brogdon’s potential entrance comes just after Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a favorite among conservative outside groups, decided against a bid. Groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project had pushed for Bridenstine to run as a conservative alternative to Rep. James Lankford, who announced his bid for the seat earlier this month.

Brogdon, who lost to Fallin in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, has the kind of tea party profile that could garner support from those groups. If he runs, Brogdon would be the third major Republican in the race, along with state Speaker T.W. Shannon. Candidates have until April 11 to file for the race, which follows the state’s regular election year schedule.

brogdonAlthough I believe Brogdon would represent Oklahoma well in the Senate, switching campaigns would be a mark against him in my book.  Much like the Republican candidate I read about earlier today who is running for Congress in four states simultaneously (!), changing from the Governor’s race to the Senate bespeaks of a man who just wants to be elected to something; anything.  Men and women who run for public office should do so because they want to be public servants and represent the people in their district or state, not because they just want to hold an elected office and receive all the benefits thereof.  Ego, rather than service, would be the driving motive.  I’m not saying I believe that is the case here, but it does give the impression of that being a possibility. 

Perhaps Brogdon believes his campaign in the governor’s race is doomed to fail.  On that I would have to agree.  I have been following his campaign closely and I have been wondering if he is actually serious about it.  Since announcing his intent to run against Governor Fallin in the Republican primary (on Christmas Day, of all days), 99% of his campaign has consisted of two things – platitudes and requests for donations.  His Facebook page and Twitter profile have been filled with generic quotes about government and requests to donate and sign up for alerts.  I have seen comments on his Facebook posts asking questions about his positions on certain issues.  Those comments have disappeared.  Finally, after one month of ‘campaigning’ there finally appeared a graphic on his Facebook page indicating opposition to Common Core.  Three days later there was another one on the same issue.  Other than those two graphics, I have not seen one comment, graphic, press release or interview in which Mr. Brogdon laid out his position on any issue.  But he’ll take your donation.  And now he is reportedly considering abandoning all the people who wanted him to run for Governor so he can run for a different office? 

I remember Brogdon from when he was a State Senator and I believe he has the conservative principles to be an excellent Governor.  Although I believe Mary Fallin would be very difficult to defeat, I have not been happy with all of her decisions.  A truly conservative challenger would be most welcome, but only someone who takes their campaign seriously and doesn’t abandon it for a different campaign where it appears the odds of succeeding might be better. 

Should Brogdon decide to stay in the race for governor I would recommend he start laying out his positions on the issues important to Oklahomans.  Having a reputation as a conservative won’t be enough.  I’ve come up with a very short list of issues that have been either newsworthy or controversial here in Oklahoma. 

  1. Medicaid expansion.  Governor Fallin opposes.  Mr. Brogdon’s position – ?
  2. Unmanned aerial vehicle research and development.  Governor Fallin favors.  Mr. Brogdon’s position – ?
  3. Contracting with private prisons.  Governor Fallin favors.  Mr. Brogdon’s position – ?
  4. Horse slaughter facility.  Governor Fallin favors.  Mr. Brogdon’s position – ?
  5. Term limits for state judges.  Governor Fallin opposes.  Mr. Brogdon’s position – ?
  6. Banning e-cigarettes on state property.  Governor Fallin favors.  Mr. Brogdon’s position – ?
  7. Common Core.  Governor Fallin favors.  Mr. Brogdon opposes (based only on two graphics on Facebook; no statement issued)

While I do believe Brogdon has the conservative bona fides to represent Oklahoma well, remaining silent on issues while gathering donations does not sit well with me.  And switching campaigns in midstream would not be a positive development.  That’s assuming he was even serious to begin with.

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2 comments to Brogdon Switching Campaign From Governor To Senate?

  • LD Jackson

    I voted for Randy Brogdon in the primary against Mary Fallin. I did so because he was campaigning on limited government and his position on the issues seemed to be more in line with my own than did Fallin’s. After she won the race, I had no problem casting my vote for her in the general election. I was not, however, pleased with how Brogdon responded to his defeat. He seemed very much like a poor loser and focused on what he could get out of his loss, rather than making sure the Republican Party won the Governor’s office.

    Like you, I believe Randy Brogdon has the conservative principles we need in someone who represents us, either at the state or federal level. I’m just not sure he runs an effective campaign. He seems more focused on attacking any opponent he may have, rather than laying out his positions on any given issue.

    • Although I have not always been happy with Mary Fallin’s decisions I will have a hard time voting for someone else when I don’t even know his positions on the issues important to Oklahoma. If the primary comes and Brogdon is still just slinging platitudes it will be an easy choice who to vote for.