OKLAHOMA 2014 MID-TERM ELECTIONS
Mary Fallin (R) – Fallin is the current Governor of Oklahoma. Need I say more? Fallin is listed as a “Libertarian-Leaning Conservative.” Residents of Oklahoma consider her to be a hard-core conservative, but more than a little flakey. She is staunchly pro-life; firmly against same-sex marriage and LGBT rights; strongly against the separation of church and state; pro-absolute right to gun ownership; anti-Obamacare; pro-school vouchers and charter schools; anti-clean energy; a friend of big oil and gas; favors faith-based initiatives; anti-immigration.
Joe Dorman (D) – Dorman is running a strong race against Mary Fallin in the very Red State of Oklahoma. He is currently a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Dorman is considered a moderate Democrat. He is: pro-life; anti-separation of church and state; pro-Obamacare; favors the privatization of Social Security; pro-public education; pro-absolute right to gun ownership; pro-higher taxes on the wealthy; anti- immigration and pathway to citizenship.
NOTE: Apparently, Dorman is the closest thing to a Republican that the Oklahoma Democratic Party could come up with. Considering that Oklahoma is one of the most conservative states in the nation, that is not too surprising. Interestingly, he has come under criticism from many liberals and democrats for his failure to address a number of social issues as well as his obvious conservative stands on others. However, Mary Fallin has come under fire from a number of public-education and parental groups recently which could severely hurt her chances at re-election. Dorman, on the other hand, seems to put most of his eggs into one basket – and that is public education. While pandering to those groups might garner him a lot of support, his failure to address issues of importance to the liberals and progressives in Oklahoma might cost him somewhat. The other thing to consider is his stand on the privatization of Social Security which isn’t playing well to the senior population.
As far as I can tell, this one is up for grabs. A couple of things are for certain, however. A changing of the guard is sorely needed in Oklahoma, and, while less than ideal, Joe Dorman is the only hope this state has for moving forward at this time.
UNTIED STATES SENATE
Jim Inhofe (R) – James Mountain Inhofe is the current United States Senator from Oklahoma, and former United States Representative. The soon to be octogenarian was first elected to the Senate in 1994. He is one of the most conservative members of Congress – and one of the most controversial. He is infamous for his steadfast assertion that human activity does not create climate change and that global warming is a hoax.
Additionally, Inhofe has repeatedly voted against federal disaster aid for states hit by natural disasters – unless, of course, the state happens to be Oklahoma.
Senator Inhofe has also been called “The Family’s Missionary in Uganda,” The Family being the secretive C-Street group of which Inhofe is a member. In February, 2014, World News reported:
“Sen. Inhofe has traveled to Africa at least 20 times since 1999, at a cost of at least $187,000 to taxpayers (not including the cost of military aircraft) for what the Senator described as “a Jesus thing.” In Uganda, Inhofe attended Bahati’s Ugandan prayer breakfasts and invited Bahati to the United States three times. Inhofe, who once boasted of being “proud” that there was not a single gay relationship in the “recorded history of our family,” also boasted that he “adopted” Uganda. And yet Sen. Inhofe has denied knowing Bahati and, eventually, reluctantly, condemned the country’s anti-gay law.”
In spite of the many controversies over the last three decades, however, Oklahoma voters have still supported James Inhofe. Will this year be different?
On the issues, Inhofe is nothing less than a hard-core conservative. He is: pro-life; anti-same-sex marriage and LGBT rights; anti-Affirmative Action; anti-separation of church and state; anti-Obamacare; pro-privatization of Social Security; pro-vouchers and charter schools; pro-absolute right to gun ownership; anti-immigration; anti-higher taxes on the wealthy; pro-military expansion; and anti-green energy.
Matt Silverstein (D) – Silverstein is a Real Estate agency owner and financial planner out of Bixby, Oklahoma. Very little is known about Matt, other than by October, 2013, just 4 months after announcing his candidacy, he had raised over $200,000. We can say that he is a somewhat moderate or middle-of-the road Democrat. He is: pro-women and equal rights; supporter of marriage equality and equal rights for the LGBT community; pro-Obamacare; against Social Security privatization; firmly for public education; pro-absolute right to gun ownership; against higher taxes on the wealthy; favors military expansion; and favors stricter Voter ID Laws.
NOTE: While Silverstein is certainly not a progressive Democrat, and has some less than desirable views on a couple of the issues, he is, certainly, more palatable that Jim Inhofe. We can only hope that the voters in Oklahoma have come to their senses in this next election and will send Inhofe to the farm. While Silverstein is running an admirable social media campaign, we can’t overlook the fact that mid-terms notoriously bring out small crowds – and many people vote for familiarity.
James Lankford (R) – Lankford is currently the United States Representative for the 5th District. He is running to fill the Senate seat that will be vacated by Tom Coburn. To begin – Lankford was the student ministries and evangelism specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and he was director of the Falls Creek youth programming at the Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center in Davis, Oklahoma.
Lankford is probably even further to right of Tom Coburn, and probably even more extreme in his views, if you can believe that. He is also the darling of right-wing, conservative, Oklahoma voters. He is: pro-life believing that life begins at fertilization; anti-Affirmative Action and women’s rights to equality; anti-same-sex marriage and LGBT rights. He wants anti-same sex marriage opinions to be “protected as free speech;” anti-separation of church and state. He wants the first week in May designated as “Ten Commandments Week,” and wants abstinence only taught in public schools; anti-Obamacare; pro-vouchers and charter schools; pro-absolute right to gun ownership. Believes that more guns means less crime; opposes higher taxes on the wealthy; opposes amnesty and a pathway to citizenship; opposes green energy; and favors military expansion.
“In June 2014, Senator Johnson and attorney David Slane announced the filing of an initiative petition for a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Oklahoma which would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of recreational marijuana and three ounces of medical marijuana. According to Johnson, “We’re putting forth Genesis 1:29 as the basis of this campaign. God created this wonderful, miraculous plant and we know that it has been vilified for the last 100 years, and it’s time to change that in Oklahoma.”
Aside from being the first African American woman nominee for the United States Senate from Oklahoma, Johnson is very liberal in her views. These two factors make her quite the anomaly in this state. She is pro-life, pro-LGBT and same-sex marriage, pro-separation of church and state, pro-Obamacare, and pro-public education.
NOTE: Connie Johnson is the liberal’s dream candidate. It is unfortunate that she is currently pitted against the religious-right’s darling in this race – especially in Oklahoma. She will secure a majority of the African-American vote, as well as some Native American supporters, and, of course, the vote of what few liberals and progressives live in the area. Will it be enough? Only if ALL of those groups mentioned turn out in record numbers. I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but I won’t hold my breath.
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Jim Bridenstine (R) – District 1 Republican nominee who didn’t draw a Democratic opponent. Bridenstine is the current U.S. Representative for the state of Oklahoma. Bridenstine is a Southern Baptist and member of the Tea Party. He is uber-conservative in all areas. While the district is solidly Republican, the fact that someone like Bridenstine goes unchallenged by Democrats is really troublesome to me.
Markwayne Mullin (R) – Mullin is the current United States Representative for the 2nd District. He is a business owner and member of the Cherokee Nation. As a staunch Pentecostal, Mullin is pro-life and anti-LGBT rights and same-sex marriage. From his website:
“Our nation was founded on conservative principles that are enduring. Yet our federal government, through this Administration and its liberal allies, is attempting to force people of faith to violate their core religious beliefs and to silence those who disagree with their liberal agenda.
“The liberal media, modern culture and the Obama Administration are attempting to redefine our values – such as the definition of marriage. As Christians, it is our responsibility to stand up for our beliefs and our values.
“I will always defend religious freedom, traditional marriage between one man and one woman and the sanctity of life.”
He is one of the newcomers on the political scene, and is is the epitome of Oklahoma small-town politics. Markwayne Mullin adheres to the dogma of the far religious right, and is a member of the “Birther” regime.
Earl Everett (D) – An 80 year old candidate living in Ft. Gibson. Everett ran last year and lost. This year he has filed, but failed to do much else. Apparently, the Oklahoma State Democratic Party didn’t want to put any energy into this campaign.
Frank Lucas (R) – Lucas is the current United States Representative for the 3rd District. He has represented Oklahoma since 1994. He is another far-right, hard core conservative. On the issues he is: pro-life (wants to grant the preborn 14th Amendment Rights); anti-Affirmative Action; anti-LGBT rights and same-sex marriage (also wants to ban gay adoptions); anti-separation of church and state; anti-Obamacare; pro-privatization of Social Security; anti-public education; pro-absolute right to gun ownership; anti-immigration; wants English declared the official language of the United States; pro-military expansion; pro-Voter ID laws; pro-big oil and gas and anti-green energy.
Frankie Robbins (D) – Robbins is running primarily on two issues: Oil independence and addressing climate change. His positions on social issues and issues concerning foreign policy, social security, etc. have not been publicized. Unfortunately, this is not unusual amongst Democratic candidates in the State of Oklahoma. Often they feel that their positions, if known, in this conservative state might cost them votes.
NOTE: Frank Lucas is the far-right, dominionist candidate that people in District 3 love. The chances of him being upset are pretty slim. It all depends on how disgruntled the voting population is on November 4th.
Tom Cole (R) – Cole is the current United States Representative for the 4th District who has been serving since 2003. Cole is another of Oklahoma’s ultra-conservative politicians. Accordingly, on the issues he is: pro-life (wants to grant the preborn 14th Amendment Rights); anti-Affirmative Action; anti-LGBT rights and same-sex marriage; anti-separation of church and state; anti-Obamacare; pro-privatization of Social Security; anti-public education; pro-absolute right to gun ownership; anti-immigration; pro-military expansion; pro-Voter ID laws; pro-big oil and gas and anti-green energy.
Bert Smith (D) – Smith says he is a “Populist Democrat” and a “Yellow Dog Democrat.” He is a former Math teacher and a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel. His main issue is supporting and defending the Affordable Care Act.
NOTE: Bert Smith doesn’t have much of a political presence in Oklahoma. He has run for office before, but never successfully. Tom Cole, on the other hand, maintains a high profile, and has the funds to actually campaign – not that he will have to do much of that this time around.
Steve Russell (R) – Steve Russell is a former Oklahoma State Senator, and retired soldier. Russell is also the owner and founder of Two Rivers Arms, a small rifle manufacturing business that makes copies of the Iraqi Tabuk AK-47. He is seeking the seat vacated by James Lankford.
Russell is a Southern Baptist and very much opposed to abortion. He is also a gun-rights advocate. He pledges to fight against Obamacare and to curb government. Additionally, he is a major fan of the Oil & Gas Industry.
Al McAffrey (D) – McAffrey is currently an Oklahoma State Senator and former State Representative. McAffrey is the first openly gay man to ever be elected to the Oklahoma State Legislature. He is a liberal, and very strong Democrat.
Buddy Ray (I) – Buddy Ray is running as an Independent and is a member of the Tea Party. He claims to be running a “Christ-Focused Campaign.” He also says that most of his Congressional salary will go toward Christian education and personal needs of poor and minority children.
NOTE: This will be a very tough race between Russell and McAffrey. The very fact that Lankford is now running for the U.S. Senate, and is very popular among Republicans in this district puts both candidates in awkward positions. McAffrey is a very popular candidate with Liberals and Progressives, while Russell is equally as popular with Republicans. While the District has historically leaned Republican, there is currently a climate of general dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs among voters. Native American voters are upset over the racism exhibited by Governor Fallin. The Hispanic community is not happy with some of the egregious racial profiling and immigration laws. The LGBT community has continuously been degraded and maligned by the current administration. This election will come down to voter turn-out in this district. Democrats have a shot at this one, but only if they flood the polls on November 4th.