Published November 9, 2015 by Michael Bates (Batesline)
Tomorrow (November 10, 2015) is a special primary election to fill the Oklahoma State Senate District 34 seat in the wake of Rick Brinkley’s resignation. Senate District 34 (click for PDF map) includes all of Tulsa County north of 66th Street North (including the Tulsa County portions of Skiatook, Sperry, Owasso, Collinsville), the City of Tulsa northeast of Pine and Yale, northeast of the Admiral Twin, and northeast of 89th East Ave and 21st Street, and a small, mostly uninhabited section of Rogers County north of the Port Road.
There is a Democrat in the race, but because District 34 is heavily Republican (a Republican has held the seat since the 1994 election), and because in this special election there is no runoff, the winner of tomorrow’s GOP primary will almost certainly become a state senator. Although I don’t live in District 34, I grew up there, and I join conservative activists and elected officials like State Rep. Chuck Strohm, State Sen. Nathan Dahm, and County Assessor Ken Yazel in urging District 34 Republicans to vote for David McLain.
David McLain is a Skiatook resident, a veteran of the U. S. Navy, and owns a small business in the construction industry. David and Aleen, his wife of 26 years, have three grown children and two grandchildren. McLain has been endorsed by the Oklahoma Conservative PAC, theOklahoma Second Amendment Association, and the leaders of ROPE, the grassroots group that defeated Common Core. McLain supports the right to life, the sanctity of marriage, parental choice in education, lower taxes, and less-intrusive government.
We are at an interesting point in Oklahoma politics. The state is so overwhelmingly Republican that the special interests who had traditionally given to Democrats have discovered that the only avenue to influence legislation is to invest in Republican primary candidates. These special interests want to defeat fair-deal, grassroots Republicans, who want to make government smaller, but they find that they can work with wheeler-dealer Republicans, who are happy to have bigger government and higher taxes, as long as their allies can be the beneficiaries of those higher taxes.
With Republicans in solid control of every executive office, the State House, and the State Senate — 40 seats out of 48 — the real battle in Oklahoma politics is over what kind of Republicans will run state government.
I should stipulate at this point that both wheeler-dealer and fair-dealer Republicans are generally united in support of pro-life issues and Second Amendment rights. But wheeler-dealers have put the brakes on reform of taxation, schools, and the judiciary. They tend to like special tax credits for targeted beneficiaries. When the State Chamber says jump, the wheeler-dealers ask “How high?”
A look at endorsements and funding indicates that McLain’s chief opponent in the race, John Feary, is aligned with the wheeler-dealers. Feary has the financial backing of leading Obama fundraiser George Kaiser and some of Kaiser’s close associates, as well as many statewide political action committees and lobbyists.