TULSA - Just three months into his new position as chairman of the Tulsa County Republican Party, David McLain has to do something Republicans haven’t done much in recent years - analyze an election defeat.
Oklahoma House District 75 went to a Democrat for the first time in about 25 years in a special election held Tuesday, and the numbers paint a pretty clear picture of what happened, he told KRMG Thursday.
Asked if normally Republican voters might have switched allegiance, he said that’s not what happened.
“I don’t think it was Republicans that moved over to the Democrat side, I just very simply think Republicans didn’t come out and vote,” he said.
Brother, if we don’t get our messaging right on economics and education, there’s a blue tsunami coming. Wake up. -- Tulsa GOP Chair David McLain
He had all the numbers on his desk when our reporter showed up to speak with McLain for the first time since his election to lead the county GOP.
“I’ve got the numbers, I’ve looked at the numbers,” McLain said. “See this spreadsheet across my desk? These are the numbers... we’ve run all the analytics on it.”
His explanation of why those voters stayed home? He says voters were angry with Dan Kirby, who resigned as Representative of District 75 in February under a cloud after a scandal involving allegations of sexual harassment.
“What this legislator did hurt us at the local level,” McLain said. “We lost a seat that we had for 25 years because of one man doing what he did. There’s the truth.”
But he’s confident the GOP will regain that seat next year, when Republicans are likely to vote in much larger numbers with a slew of state offices on the line, including Governor.
McLain has a lot more on his plate than one House district.
He says infighting and feuding between Republicans have alienated some party members, and led the organization to crumble.
He told KRMG his main goal is “to reconcile the differences within our party, pull all groups together within our party. To get back to our platform, our party platform, and to begin to promote those values from our party platform that are important.”
He’s devoted himself to listening to all sides, and attempting to rebuild relationships to bring the party together.
“If we don’t talk, we can’t build relationships with each other. I’m a businessman. I don’t agree with every person that I do business with, but that doesn’t stop me from doing business with them.”