Former State Rep. Porter Davis on Wednesday announced his candidacy for Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party (OKGOP).
The Vice Chair seat was left vacant after Estela Hernandez had announced last month her resignation to go join Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.
Porter made the announcement to the State Committee members of the OKGOP by way of the following email:
Dear OK GOP State Committee Member:
Today I’m officially announcing my candidacy to serve you as Vice Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party.
My mission is to bring the state party together, grow our membership, and empower our volunteers to transform Oklahoma government to reflect the principles that motivate you and me to be Republicans. Please take a few minutes to read and reflect on how this plan will help you decide that I am the right person for this important job.
It’s no secret that the GOP is in trouble, nationally and in Oklahoma. The majority of Republicans seem to be “mad as hell, and not wanting to take it anymore.” A recent poll shows that 62% of Republicans are upset with their own party. No wonder a majority support populist or “outsider” candidates. Over 40% of voters now identify as Independents, showing their disgust with both parties.
In Oklahoma, Democrats recently won two “safe” GOP legislative seats, with significant Republican crossover votes. And even though we have super majorities in the legislature and hold all statewide offices, it’s been politics-as-usual at the Capitol. Under Republican rule, state government has seamlessly grown in cost and scope on the path set by Democrats. On top of that, the last eight years have been marked by significant party infighting. Clearly, what we’re doing is not working.
We Republicans can do better.
As you will see, this plan will empower the grassroots to move Oklahoma in a better direction, so that our children and grandchildren will have a brighter future. As Vice Chairman of our party, I will work to this end. I’ve shared this plan with OK GOP Chairman, Pam Pollard, and it compliments her agenda to establish solid infrastructure for party activities. Briefly, these are the essentials:
1. Unify Around Our Principles
• Advancing our core principles is the only reason for our party to exist. Our principles are the heart and soul of what make us Republicans. They’re clearly stated in the first sentence of our Party Platform: “We believe in limited government, individual liberty, natural rights, and personal moral responsibility.” These should guide our elected representatives for proposing, opposing, or voting on any issue. Period. We have the best ideas. Let’s put them to work!
• If we focus on our principles, we will heal our internal divisions and attract new people, especially the younger Millennial generation. The majority of freedom-loving, hard-working Americans share our principles. When we are true to them, we will grow. When we aren’t, we get the mess we have today.
• When we promote our principles, and live by them, we will ignite what Sam Adams called “brushfires of Liberty in the minds of men” and fuel a movement to restore America to her destiny as a beacon of Liberty. Oklahoma can lead the way, serving as an example for the rest of the nation. Let’s join together to make Oklahoma Number One where it counts most.
2. Organize in the Precincts
• Too often our elected representatives act contrary to our principles, and to the wishes of their constituents. They get away with it because they don’t fear for their re-election. Active precinct organizations, built around a town meeting format, will educate our neighbors and representatives how to apply our principles to issues and train them for political activity. Empowered citizens can keep their legislators in line, or replace them if they aren’t. Precinct organizations are the missing link in the chain of representative government.
• Precinct organizations have a larger purpose beyond politics — building community. Precinct Leaders will serve as community organizers in the best sense, bringing neighbors together to solve common problems that don’t need a political solution. America’s current crisis won’t be navigated painlessly or quickly. We need each other. In the Christian tradition, we can empower servant leaders in the precincts with neighbors helping neighbors.
• Since the OK Grassroots Project launched in late 2014, I’ve been traveling around the state to share and improve this plan. The response has been excellent because it provides a practical, proven mechanism to transform Oklahoma government to reflect our principles and lead the nation into the 22nd century. (You can learn more about the project and download my free e-book at www.OKGrassrootsProject.com.)
3. Play Fair to Restore Trust
• Since coming out of political retirement eight years ago, I’ve worked in many campaigns, been to all my precinct meetings, county, district and state conventions, as well as been a delegate to the RNC in 2008 and 2012. I have experienced more infighting, political hijinks, dirty tricks, nasty campaigning and incompetence than I ever expected in my own party. I know many once-enthusiastic newcomers who left the party as a result and want nothing to do with us. I also know seasoned activists who are fed up and ready to quit. If we are to survive and prosper, we need to come together and play fair.
• To restore trust within the party, we need to:
1. Each of us purpose to make a fresh start, as much as possible. Commit to reconciliation and restoration of relationships, centered around what unites us, our principles. A little forgiveness and forbearance go a long way. As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.” It’s time to end our civil war and work together.
2. Treat each other with respect. Rudeness, character assassination, and similar behavior have no place in a party with our noble ideals;
3. Welcome all who share our principles. Freedom benefits everyone;
4. Strictly adhere to our own rules;
5. Be transparent in all official activities;
6. Share information with those who need it, including precinct and county officers, as well as candidates;
7. Institute efficient, accurate systems for all conventions and meetings, especially credentialing delegates. We need to respect our volunteers’ time.
8. Shun campaigning that doesn’t stick to the issues, qualifications, and especially anything that is slanderous or misleading. The voters have shown they’re sick of mudslinging and being treated like morons.
9. Remember: Blessed are the peacemakers, and a house divided against itself cannot stand.
That’s the three-legged stool of my platform for Vice Chair: unify around our principles; organize in the precincts; play fair to restore trust. It is consistent with the job description, and dovetails nicely with Chairman Pollard’s mission for the party.
We have an opportunity to do something amazing in Oklahoma. We can build the grassroots infrastructure to transform Oklahoma government according to our principles. As we do that, our state will become an oasis economically, culturally, and even spiritually. Oklahoma will become a magnet for the best and brightest, and provide a better future for our children and grandchildren.
Please take a few moments to imagine what Oklahoma will be like when we accomplish our goal. We will have the freest economy in the nation, where all of our natural rights are inviolate, personal responsibility is incentivized, and our state and county governments protect us from the predatory overreach of the Federal government.This is the vision of liberty that burns in my imagination and gives me courage for the fight and fuel for the journey. I hope it does that for you, too.
I intend to call each member of the State Committee before the election on March 12. I want to discuss my vision and plan, as well as answer any questions or concerns you might have. Because of the difficulties connecting by phone, please call me on my cell phone if I haven’t called you first. I work at home, and this is my major priority. So please feel free to call during the day or evening. I’ll schedule at least one online town hall to give a more detailed presentation of the plan and answer questions. I’m available to speak to your group, so please call.
Please be assured that I want to be Vice Chairman because I want to grow the party and help it be more effective so our children and grandchildren will have a better future. This plan is not a gimmick, nor am I running for anything else. Building the grassroots is the key to restoring the Republic, and I’m working to help make it happen.
I ask for your support, endorsement and vote. And after I’m elected, please join Pam and me on this adventure building a party that gets the job done!
Please check out my experience below so you will see that I am qualified to lead this plan forward.
Chair, Precinct 550-111
Election for Vice Chair by the State Committee of the OKGOP will take place on March 12, 2016 at a location yet to be disclosed. FortySix News has been informed by sources that there is one other candidate vying for the seat, Richard Engle. You can find more information about the candidates on FortySix News 2016 Elections page.