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May 18, 2014

Republicans converge in Duncan to celebrate

DUNCAN — About 800 Republicans gathered in Duncan on Saturday to hear Gov. Mary Fallin tout the party’s growing strength and urge them to overtake the Democratic Party in registered voters.

“Look at how our party has grown,” Fallin said speaking before an backdrop of American flags. “And it’s all because of you.”

“We’re considered the reddest state in the nation, the most conservative state in the nation.”

Fallin called Stephens County “one of our hotbeds.”

Even so, Republicans trail Democrats by about 10,500 in party registration in Oklahoma while in Stephens County  Democrats hold an advantage of abourt 2,300 over Republicans.

Republicans are confident they will soon overtake Democrats in party registration.

Moreover,  Oklahoma voters at general election time have favored Republican candidates for the most part, as Fallin happily reminded the fish fry crowd. President Obama, she noted, has lost the vote in all 77 of Oklahoma’s counties.

“Not once, but two times,” she said.

A Who’s Who of Oklahoma Republican Party stalwarts were in attendance.

Among them were U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and the three prime contenders for the party’s nomination to the U.S. Senate seat soon to be vacated by Republican Tom Coburn -- U.S. Rep. James Lankford, former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon and former State Senator Randy Brogdon.

Fallin took photos with supporters who paid $50 to attend a private reception before she walked over to the rodeo arena, where she was immediately serenaded by a barbershop quartet singing “Oklahoma,” the state song.

The fish fry crowd paid $25 per ticket or $250 for a table seating 10 to hear Fallin’s speech after being fed catfish, beans and coleslaw.

A silent auction and a spirited live auction conducted by Republican State Committeeman Steve Fair of Duncan was held after Fallin’s remarks.

All of the proceeds went to fund Stephens County Republican Party.

Fallin was the only speaker. None of the other Republican office holders and office seekers spoke from the stage, as is customary. All of their politicking was done one a one-on-one basis on the rodeo arena floor.

The county Republicans awarded Gayle and Bob Kammerer with the Dr. Gerald Beasley Jr. Memorial Award, which is given annually to the party volunteers who best exemplifies the grassroots activism that Beasley exhibited when Democrats held sway in Oklahoma politics.

 

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Duncan Vice Mayor Mike Nelson talks during Wednesday's Duncan Rotary meeting.

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