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Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin draws Tea Party challenger in GOP primary

Former State Senator Randy Brogdon wants rematch with Fallin, who beat him in 2010

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics editor

oklahoma mugOKLAHOMA CITY (CFP) — GOP Governor Mary Fallin will face a primary challenge from former State Senator Randy Brogdon, a Tea Party favorite touting himself as the “constitutional conservative” in the race.

Former State Senator Randy Brogdon

Former State Senator Randy Brogdon

“We are in the fight of our lives for liberty, and I feel morally obligated to lead that fight on behalf of Oklahoma families,” Brogdon said in launching his campaign Web site on Chirstmas Day.

“My promise as governor is to protect Oklahoma families from the overreach of federal and state government and to restore your God-given unalienable rights of life, liberty and property,” he said.

Brogdon, 60, the former mayor of Owasso in suburban Tulsa, served two terms in the Oklahoma Senate from 2002 to 2010. He gave up his seat to run for governor, finishing second to Fallin in the Republican primary with 39 percent of the vote.

During that campaign, Brogdon made national headlines after he was linked to a proposal from some Oklahoma Tea Party activists to create a volunteer state militia to resist federal power.

Under fire from fellow Republicans, Brogdon insisted he was only expressing support for a provision in the state’s constitution that allows for creation of such a force to help during emergencies.

“If you’re talking about having a state guard to march on Washington, D.C., of course not,” Brogdon told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview at the time.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin

Fallin, 59, was elected as the Sooner State’s first female governor in 2010, after serving two terms in the U.S. House, representing the 5th District, which takes in much of metro Oklahoma City. She announced back in October that she would seek a second term.

A month later, Fallin ordered state-owned National Guard facilities to stop processing appplications for spousal benefits, in definance of the U.S. military’s directive to extend benefits to same-sex couples. The decision means that military spouses — both gay and straight — must travel to federal facilities to apply for their benefits.

Oklahoma voters outlawed same-sex marriage in a 2004 ballot initiative. Fallin said her decision “protects the integrity of our state constitution and sends a message to the federal government that they cannot simply ignore our laws or the will of the people.”

In December, Fallin racheted up the anti-federal rhetoric by ordering state education officials not to allow their federal counterparts to have any input in developing the state’s educational standards.

Two Democrats have filed to run for governor — State Representative Joe Dorman from Rush Springs and RJ Harris, a Norman attorney who ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Republican in 2010 and as an independent in 2012. He was also an unsuccessful candidate for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination in 2012.


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