On December 5, the Oklahoma Republican State Committee was presented with a new strategic initiative called “Red to the Roots.”
“Red to the Roots is not a new program but a new name and a new energy,” said OKGOP Chairman Pam Pollard.
During the tenure of Matt Pinnell as OKGOP chairman and Pam Pollard as vice chair, an initial effort was launched for the state party organization to overtly aid Republican nominees for county office. Red to the Roots is a revived version of that effort.
“I tapped Richard Engle to spearhead the effort because he successfully chaired the previous work,” Pollard said. “Upon becoming Oklahoma Republican Chair, I found that some other state organizations were engaged to assist local Republican candidates. Tennessee and South Carolina named the outreach work ‘Red to the Roots.’ We are combining our previous positive experience with the experience of these other states to create what we hope to be the strongest increase of Republican victories in county and other local offices. Conservative ideas work at every level of government and it is long past time for us to concentrate on the area of government that often has the greatest impact on the daily lives of Oklahomans.”
Engle, a former local city council member, is joined by Rep. Mike Sanders as vice chairman, as well as a number of existing county elected officials, business people and party leaders in the Red to the Roots committee.
“Only 35 percent of county elected officials in Oklahoma are Republican,” Engle said. “Our voters are conservative, our federal delegation, our statewide elected officials and our legislature is overwhelmingly Republican, but we haven’t yet fully made the connection between conservative Republican ideals and the important work being done at the local level. As said by the arch-liberal Van Jones, ‘Personnel is policy.’ It’s pretty clear that public spending is policy as well.
“A conservative Republican will be able to break free from the subtle corruption of long term local habits and reform local government into something that represents a pro-growth, limited government, low tax, individual liberty, rule of law form which Oklahoma voters have long been calling for at the state and federal level.
“Red to the Roots is first an awareness campaign, and then we will move into a funding and assistance mode as we approach the next election cycle. It is my intent to take our Red to the Roots presentation to every county of the state in 2016. I expect to be at every county Republican group as well as local Republican clubs, conservative and tea party organizations and anywhere else we can communicate this message. Then we will recruit the largest class of highly qualified candidates for these offices and we intend for our nominees to win! As the voters begin to discover that the liberal tendencies of Democrats extend to local office, I expect that they will eagerly support a change that has been a long time coming. I also expect that some conservative Democrats in local office will find the courage to switch to the Republican Party as they see that our party reflects their views far better than the Democrat party.”