Tuesday, March 4, 2014
TIME TO CHANGE PARTY AFFILIATION!
Weekly Opinion Editorial
TIME TO CHANGE!
by Steve Fair
2014 is proving to be an interesting year in Oklahoma politics. With the resignation of Dr. Tom Coburn, the Sooner state will be one of only two states in the country with two U.S. Senate races on the ballot this year. South Carolina is the other state. There are at least five Republicans who have announced they are running. To date, no big-name Democrat candidate has announced they are running for the seat. Senator Jim Inhofe is up for re-election and has yet to draw a strong opponent from either Party. Additonally, Governor Fallin and eight other state-wide elected officials face re-election in November. All 101 State House seats and 24 of the State Senate seats are up for re-election. We will know who the actual candidates are in about a month. Filing for office closes April 11th. Often those who claim they will run do not follow through and file for office, and it’s not official until they file. The primary is June 24th, which makes the campaign window very short. Many races will be decided in the primary- the Republican primary.
For years in Oklahoma, county election board secretaries told potential voters they needed to register Democrat if they wanted a voice in the electoral process. At that time, that was somewhat true, because Republicans didn’t always field candidates at the local/county level, so often the election was decided in the Democrat primary. But times have changed. In 2012, there were more Republican candidates for office in Oklahoma than Democrats. Many races were decided in the Republican primary.
As of January 2014, Democrats still hold a slight 30,000 lead in voter affiliation statewide. Voters in Oklahoma don’t vote Democrat. Oklahoma has voted for the Republican nominee for president since 1964. In the last two presidential elections, Oklahoma was the only state in the country where every county voted for the Republican nominee. Republicans have controlled both chambers of the state legislature since 2006 and now have super majorities in both the House and Senate. Every statewide office holder in Oklahoma is a Republican. Oklahoma is the reddest state in the country.
The reason more Oklahomans are registered Democrat than Republican is somewhat puzzling, particularly since its obvious most Oklahomans don’t consider themselves Democrat and they don’t vote that way. Most Oklahomans are conservative. They believe in the Second Amendment (right to bear arms). They are pro-life and fiscally conservative. What the Democrats say they stand for is completely out of touch with the average Oklahoman. It’s time for conservative Oklahoma Democrats to align with their values and register Republican. Here are the reasons why:
First, it is very likely the U.S. Senate, the Corporation Commission, and the five Congressional races will be decided in the Republican primary. Oklahoma holds ‘closed’ primaries, which means that only those registered Republican can vote in the Republican primary. In some states, they hold ‘open’ primaries and allow voters to vote in whichever Party’s primary they want regardless of Party affiliation (insanity). That is the reason registering Independent in Oklahoma makes no sense. Those registered Independent should study the platform of both major Partys and align themselves accordingly.
Second, your great granddad would be proud of you if you aligned yourself with your values. Many Democrats stay registered ‘D’ because their family was always registered Democrat. Some say, “Great Granddad would roll over in his grave if he knew I registered Republican.” The truth is Granddad would not recognize the Democrat Party of 2014. It’s not the Party of your great granddad. The D’s of today advocate gun control, same sex marriage, abortion on demand, and a weak national defense. They believe increased government and spending is the answer to every problem.
Third, Democrat voters who wish to vote in the Republican primary on June 24th must change their voter affiliation by March 31st. Voter registration cards are available at the local post office, at the tag agency or at the local election board. The form can be downloaded at ok.gov/elections. Just complete the form and mail it in.
Join the Party of personal responsibility, traditional values and limited government. The Republican Party stands for Oklahoma values. Remember Party affiliation must be changed by March 31st in order to vote ‘R’ on June 24th. The next junior U.S. Senator from Oklahoma, a new 5th district Congressman, and Corporation Commissioner will be determined in the Republican primary. If you want your voice to be heard, you need to be a registered Republican.