Oklahoma Republican Party
|House Leader||Jeff W. Hickman|
Dewey F. Barlett Center|
4031 N. Lincoln Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
|Seats in the US Senate||
2 / 2
|Seats in the US House||
5 / 5
|Oklahoma statewide offices held||
11 / 11
|Seats in the OK Senate||
40 / 48
|Seats in the OK House||
72 / 101
|Oklahoma Republican Party|
The Oklahoma Republican Party is a political party affiliated with the United States Republican Party (GOP). Along with the Oklahoma Democratic Party, it is one of the two major parties in Oklahoma politics.
As of the November 2012 elections, Republicans have a supermajority in both the Oklahoma Senate and Oklahoma House of Representatives, hold all statewide offices, and all Congressional seats in both the House and Senate. This accomplishment is notwithstanding that the Republicans have fewer registered voters in the state than the Democrats (as of January 15, 2014, there are 854,329 registered Republican voters in Oklahoma, compared to 885,609 Democratic voters and 238,874 voters registered as independent or with other parties).
The current chair of the state party is Pam Pollard.
Current structure and composition
The Oklahoma Republican Party headquarters is located on North Lincoln Boulevard in Oklahoma City. Additionally, the state party has a Tulsa office on East 51st Street. They host the biennial state conventions in odd-numbered years, in which they elect executive officers and delegates to the Republican National Committee.
The state party coordinates campaign activities with Republican candidates and county parties and receives some funding from the national GOP organizations.
Territorial period through 1930s
The Oklahoma Republican Party takes its roots from the territorial period, gaining a larger portion of its support from the Northwestern part of the state, where migrants from the state of Kansas brought with them Republican political leanings of the time. For most of Oklahoma history, the Oklahoma Republican Party has the fewest members in the old Indian Territory or the area located in the Southeast.
Republicans held the American presidency during most of the territorial period, resulting in the appointments of Republican territorial governors. Despite the dominance of Republicans as governor and delegate, the two main parties had almost reached parity in the territorial legislature by statehood.
The Republican at the time of statehood in 1907 was not the party of most Oklahomans, but was the party of most African-Americans. Republican A. C. Hamlin was Oklahoma's first black legislator, serving in the first legislature of the new state.
Republicans experienced a short-lived resurgence in the early 1920s, with the election of John W. Harreld in 1920 as the first Republican United States senator for the state of Oklahoma. During this time the Republican Party had gained a majority of the state's seats in United States Congress, attaining five of the nine seats available. The Oklahoma House of Representatives saw their first Republican majority and first Republican Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1921 to 1923. The first female member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives was a Republican.
In the 1928 election, Republicans gained 26 new seats in the Oklahoma House of Representatives due in part to the low popularity of the time of presidential candidate Al Smith and the incumbent governor's stumping on his behalf. With a total of forty-seven seats, they were only five seats from having a majority. With thirteen Democratic members, they elected a coalition Democratic Speaker over the incumbent speaker.
But it was the 1930s or The Great Depression that would prove to be the most troublesome for Republicans in Oklahoma. It was during this time that Republican voters had shifted their support to the revitalized Democratic Party.
Late 20th century
Beginning in the 1960s, the Oklahoma Republican party made gains in voter registration and state legislative seats. Henry Bellmon won election as Oklahoma's first Republican governor in 1962, by appealing to Democratic voters and as an anti-corruption candidate. Only 18 percent of Oklahomans were registered as Republicans at the time.
Bellmon's term helped increase the image of Republicans in Oklahoma. Under his administration, total highway projects increased 46 percent over the previous administration and the first retirement system for state employees was created. Bellmon also oversaw the racial integration of Oklahoma schools and the court-ordered reapportionment of the state electoral districts.
Bellmon won election to the United States Senate in 1968. Republican Don Nickles succeeded Bellmon in 1980.
In 1990, black Republican J.C. Watts was elected as Oklahoma's first black statewide officeholder, serving on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, serving as a member of the commission from 1990 to 1995 and as chairman from 1993 to 1995.
In 2010, Republicans increased their gains in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and took majority control of the Oklahoma Senate. Furthermore, Republicans captured every statewide office and came within six percentage points of capturing the 2nd District (the only Congressional seat that it did not already hold); in 2012 it would capture that seat as well and gain supermajority control of both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature.
In 2015, the number of registered Republican voters overtook the number of registered Democratic voters for the first time in the state's history (as of January 15, 2015, there are 886,153 registered Republicans, 882,686 registered Democrats, and 261,429 independent voters).
Notable Oklahoma Republicans
- A. C. Hamlin, Oklahoma's first black state legislator after statehood
- George B. Schwabe, first Republican Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
- Bessie McColgin, one of Oklahoma's first female state legislators
- John W. Harreld, Oklahoma's first Republican U.S. Senator
- Governor Henry Bellmon, Oklahoma's first Republican governor
- Governor Dewey F. Bartlett
- Governor Frank Keating
- U.S. Senator Don Nickles
- Bud Wilkinson, legendary University of Oklahoma football coach (lost 1964 U.S. Senate election to Fred R. Harris)
- U.S. Representative J.C. Watts, Oklahoma's first black U.S. Representative
- U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator Tom Coburn
- U.S. Senator James Inhofe
- Governor Mary Fallin
Current elected officials
As of 2015 the Oklahoma Republican Party controls all 12 statewide offices and holds supermajorities in both the Oklahoma Senate and the Oklahoma House of Representatives; Republicans also hold both of the state's U.S. Senate seats and all five of the state's U.S. House seats.
Members of Congress
U.S. House of Representatives
- OK-01: Jim Bridenstine
- OK-02: Markwayne Mullin
- OK-03: Frank Lucas
- OK-04: Tom Cole
- OK-05: Steve Russell
- Governor: Mary Fallin
- Lieutenant Governor: Todd Lamb
- Secretary of State: Chris Benge
- State Auditor and Inspector: Gary Jones
- Attorney General: Scott Pruitt
- Treasurer: Ken Miller
- State School Superintendent: Joy Hofmeister
- Labor Commissioner: Melissa Houston (previously held by Mark Costello until his death)
- Insurance Commissioner: John D. Doak
- Corporation Commissioners: Bob Anthony, Todd Hiett and Dana Murphy
- President Pro Tem of the Senate: Brian Bingman
- Senate Majority Floor Leader: Mike Schulz
- Speaker of the House: Jeff W. Hickman
- House Majority Floor Leader: Lee Denney
- Oklahoma Democratic Party
- Oklahoma's congressional districts
- Politics of Oklahoma
- Republican Party
- 2014 Registration Report, Oklahoma State Election Board (accessed September 23, 2014)
- Oklahoma Republican Party (accessed May 11, 2013).
- Gaddie, Ronald. REPUBLICAN PARTY, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Oklahoma Historical Society (accessed May 11, 2013)
- Brown, Kenny. OKLAHOMA TERRITORY, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture] (accessed May 11, 2013)
- Bruce, Mic hael. HAMLIN, ALBERT COMSTOCK (1881-1912), Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (accessed May 11, 2013)
- Hannemann, Carolyn G. SCHWABE, GEORGE BLAINE, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (accessed May 11, 2013)
- Pappas, Christine. MCCOLGIN AMELIA ELIZABETH SIMISON, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (accessed May 11, 2013)
- A Century to Remember (accessed May 11, 2013)
- Gaddie, Ronald Keith. Democratic Party, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (accessed May 11, 2013)
- Hannemann, Carolyn G. BELLMON, HENRY LOUIS, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (accessed May 11, 2013)
- Verhovek, Sam Howe (1994-10-07). "The 1994 Campaign: The Republicans; More Black Candidates Find Places on Republican Ballots". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
- McNutt, Michael. "Republicans select speaker designate" http://newsok.com/republicans-select-speaker-designate/article/2969390, The Oklahoman November 10, 2006.
- McNutt, Michael. "Oklahoma's legislative leaders pledge to work with Democrats", The Oklahoman, November 7, 2010.
- Oklahoma Republican Partry. "Elected Officials". Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- Oklahoma Republican Party Home Page
- Oklahoma Federation of College Republicans
- Oklahoma Republican Party Grassroots Platform 2005
- Current Oklahoma Republican Elected Officials.
- Oklahoma Historical Society page listing Oklahoma Governors.
- Lawton Politics
- Voices of Oklahoma interview with Henry Bellmon. First person interview conducted on April 14, 2009 with Henry Bellmon. Original audio and transcript archived with Voices of Oklahoma oral history project.