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June 30, 2013

As a party we are either going to progress or digress

DUNCAN — State GOP Chairman David Weston says Republicans have made great strides in this state in a short time and he likes what he sees in the Stephens County Republican Party.

Oklahoma is the “reddest of red states,” with a Republican governor and big majorities in both houses of the Oklahoma Legislature and all statewide offices, he said. And the local party has helped send Republicans to the Statehouse and put a Republican on the Stephens County Board of Commissioners.

But, Weston said during a visit with members of the Stephens County GOP this week, there is plenty of work to do at every level.

“I believe we as a party are either going to progress or digress,” he said. “Now is not the time to sit on our laurels.”

Democrats still outnumber Republicans in voter registration, despite big GOP gains in recent years, he said. He handed out bumper stickers that said, “REPENT: Register Republican.”  

And Democrats still control the U.S. Senate and the White House and are pushing organizing efforts aggressively.

“President Obama is not acting like someone who is going to fade off into the sunset,” he said. Weston, who was elected as new state party chairman in April, is on a statewide tour of all 77 counties. His visit to Stephens County puts him about half way through the tour.

The state party is on a mission to “reinvigorate, educate and deploy” grassroots activists and volunteers throughout Oklahoma and beyond.  

On a national level, Weston said Republicans could volunteer their time and efforts to help knock off Democratic incumbent U.S. senators in neighboring Louisiana and Arkansas in the 2014 elections.

Last year, Stephens County Republicans went to Colorado and helped campaign successfully for a Republican incumbent member of Congress there.

At a state level, Republicans have a great opportunity to win Statehouse representation of more rural areas of Oklahoma.  

“I believe they (Democrats) are going to abandon rural areas,” he said.And at the local level, he said, a greater push should be made to win county offices, including sheriff’s races.

“I want to encourage people to participate in local government in a positive way,” he said. “We have to move from the Statehouse to the courthouse. If Obama wants to get guns away, he will do it through law enforcement. That is why county sheriff is so important.”

The state GOP plans to conduct candidate and volunteer training early next year, among other activities.

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