TULSA - Several Republican, Tea Party, and Patriot organizations in Oklahoma say they've had disappointing experiences with one of the candidates for national office.
T.W. Shannon has already come under fire for missing hundreds of votes in the State House.
Now, KRMG has learned he's gaining a reputation as a "no-show" for local events around the state, after his campaign staff confirmed he would appear.
Shannon's Director of Communications, Ken Bricker, says no candidate can attend all events, and that Shannon has attended hundreds of them all over the state.
But he could not explain why the campaign had made commitments which it did not fulfill.
KRMG has spoken with organizers at the following events who said they had problems:
- Canadian County Patriot Party April 29
- Grady County Tea Party (they weren’t sure when the cancellation came in, believe it was late last week, event is May 15)
- Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ May 13 (canceled April 29 via email after ads were bought)
- OSU forum May 1 (canceled after THEY changed the schedule from May 1 to May 2)
- Carter County Republicans (Monday after the filing, so April 15, call came in late Friday saying he might have to cancel, they’d call back, never did)
- Pittsburg County Republians (April 5, Lankford couldn’t come, Shannon canceled and they were told the Shannon campaign “didn’t want to be put in that position” less than 24 hours before event)
- Tulsa County Republican Men's Club (March 12, canceled the Friday before after confirming)
Organizers for the OSU forum, which took place Thursday night, did say they changed the date of their event from May 2 to May 1, so they accepted the explanation that he was already committed.
The Pittsburg County Republican Party spokeswoman said they were simply told that since Rep. James Lankford couldn't be there, the campaign manager "didn't want him (Shannon) to be put in that position."
Lankford and former State Sen. Randy Brogdon are also on the GOP ballot for U. S. Senator in the June primary.
She said it was not explained to them what "that position" meant, but that they knew when they initially confirmed that Lankford would not be there, while Brogdon would.
The other five events were only told there was a "scheduling conflict."
Many of the organizers said cancellations came only after they had spent money on advertising their events.
"I don't know if you can appreciate what a problem it is when we're telling everybody and his brother 'we've got T. W. Shannon, he's gonna be there," said Michael Phillips of the Tulsa County Republican Men's Club. "It makes us look like fools."
Bricker told KRMG "T. W. traditionally gets invited to many different types of events and forums. If it were up to him, he would attend every one of them. But the focus of the campaign is to reach new voters, and to do it very aggressively. We're doing things that a lot of other campaigns aren't doing."
He added "T.W.'s philosophy is not to go to these events where the voter is supposed to come to you, but to go to the voter."
He said that strategy has been very effective, and Shannon will continue to campaign that way.