Oklahoma GOP Chairman Plans To Step Down After Brief, Contentious Leadership

Sep 3, 2015

Oklahoma Republican Party officials say state chairman Randy Brogdon plans to resign his position.

GOP Vice Chair Estela Hernandez told The Associated Press Brogdon called her yesterday to confirm he is stepping down before he sent an email announcing a state committee meeting next Saturday to elect a new state GOP chairman.

“This is an official call from Chairman Randy Brogdon for a State Committee Meeting to be held on Saturday September 12th, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at the Hope Community Worship Center located at 8304 S. 107th E. Ave., Tulsa, Oklahoma,” the email said. “The purpose of this State Committee Meeting is to elect a new State Chairman.”

Hernandez said she intends to run for the chairman's post.

University of Oklahoma political scientist Keith Gaddie called the move peculiar, saying the election announcement came before anyone realized the party needed a new leader.

“No explanation had been offered at the time the election was called. It was sent out in an email. It was really very much a surprise,” Gaddie said. “It seems to cap off what has been a very weird four months of Randy Brogdon’s chairmanship of the state GOP.”

The Republican from Owasso's tenure fostered division among separate factions within the party. Since Brogdon took office, he's faced criticism for a social media post comparing food stamp recipients to animals and for standing behind a top-level party staffer who pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge three years ago.

Several people within the state Republican Party say fundraising has weakened over the past 60 days, and the party could be out of money, according to The McCarville Report.

A former state GOP vice chairman and the president of the Oklahoma Federation of Republican Women says she doesn't think an election can be held on September 12 without violating party rules.

In a Facebook post last night, Pam Pollard pointed out rule 10 of the Oklahoma Republican Party bylaws says if the State Chairman resigns, the committee must have at least 30 days’ notice before the meeting to elect a new leader is held. Normal state committee meetings only require 10 days’ notice.

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