(Editor’s Note: Last weekend, the leader of the Sooner Tea Party, the controversial and lambastic Al Gerhart of Oklahoma City, claimed he had been named coordinator of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in Oklahoma. Immediately, others involved in Paul’s campaign questioned the claim and on Wednesday, Ron Paul OK announced its list of state leaders. Gerhart’s name was not among them.)
Ron Paul OK, the grassroots-based organizing effort for Ron Paul in the Republican presidential nomination race, announced that organizers met and chose their leadership for the Oklahoma state level campaign, and there’s no mention of Al Gerhart, the man who claims to be the campaign’s state coordinator.
In a release prepared after questions arose about the role of the controversial Gerhart in the campaign, the Oklahoma group said:
By unanimous consent, Lukus Collins was chosen to be the Director of Operations for Ron Paul OK, and as such will also serve as spokesperson for the group’s efforts to win the Presidential Preference Primary in Oklahoma. Collins served as an Alternate Delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention, holds a position as a Co-Organizer of the OKC Ron Paul 2012 Meetup group, and is the founder of the RonPaulOK.com website and blog.
In further action, organizers also chose State Representative Charles Key and former State Senator Randy Brogdon to serve as Co-Chairmen for the grassroots campaign in Oklahoma. Key and Brogdon gained national notoriety in 2009 when they joined forces to author and pass HJR 1003/SJR 10, which called upon the federal government to restrict itself to Constitutional limitations and cease infringing on states’ Tenth Amendment rights.
With leadership such as this, the Ron Paul OK operation is confident in its mission to identify supporters, provide positive outreach to undecided voters, and build momentum to victory for Ron Paul in Oklahoma in 2012.
Upon accepting the position, Collins said, “I am excited for the opportunity to help organize grassroots volunteers to elect the champion of the Constitution, Ron Paul. Dr. Paul’s strong finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as his recent surges in national and South Carolina polls demonstrate the growing momentum of his campaign. I expect that wave to continue building in Oklahoma and beyond. The OKC area volunteers and headquarters are here to serve as a focal point as needed by other grassroots Ron Paul groups across the state.”
As a longtime advocate of the principles of liberty espoused by Congressman Paul, Representative Key said, “Dr. Paul has led a tireless fight against big government for nearly three decades, and has proven himself as the only presidential candidate with the conviction to back up his rhetoric with real action. His willingness to stand alone when necessary in defense of the Constitution has won him the respect of countless Americans, including myself. I am honored to serve as a Co-Chairman for the grassroots campaign in Oklahoma, and I am proud to stand with Dr. Paul in his quest to restore America to her founding principles.”
Two-term State Senator and 2010 Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Randy Brogdon said, “I am inspired by Ron Paul and his dedication to securing the blessings of liberty, which are at risk today in our country. We need Ron Paul because he understands that our security as a nation can only be protected through the principles of liberty as laid out in our Declaration of Independence and protected by our Constitution. Dr. Paul is a man of steadfast faith and character, a husband of one wife for 54 years, and a pro-life OBGYN who has delivered over 4,000 babies. I call on all my fellow Republicans to stay true to our Party’s stated principles of a government limited to the protection of life, liberty, and property, and join me in supporting Ron Paul for President.”
Twelve-term Congressman Ron Paul of Texas enjoys a national reputation as the foremost advocate for liberty in American politics. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington D.C. for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, sound money, and a return to a pro-America, non-interventionist foreign policy. He is known among both his colleagues in Congress and his constituents for his consistent voting record in the House of Representatives. Dr. Paul only votes for legislation expressly authorized by the US Constitution.
For further information, contact Lukus Collins by email at email@example.com, by phone at 405-371-2574, or visit RonPaulOK.com.
In an email to The McCarville Report, Collins further explained the structure of the Paul campaign:
The Ron Paul OK website and organization is a spontaneous, grassroots effort, independent of the official national Ron Paul campaign. This phenomenon of multiple spontaneous grassroots organizations around the country supporting a presidential candidate is pretty rare, and I think sometimes causes confusion for journalists seeking “the one in charge.” This is a very remarkable and inspiring aspect of the Ron Paul movement: that we buy into the liberty philosophy for ourselves, and don’t have to be directed from the top-down, but rather organize ourselves from the bottom-up in support of our cause and our candidate.
Ron Paul OK is not the only grassroots group in Oklahoma supporting Ron Paul’s candidacy. But we are hoping to lead the way in providing whatever assistance we can in teaming up with others around the state.
I have attached a press release we are releasing today announcing our organizational structure and mission.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no single person to point to as being “in charge of the Paul campaign in Oklahoma.” As far as Al Gerhart’s specific role and position, I think you would get the most accurate information from the national campaign office or Al himself. In conversations with us, he has described his role as that of a “quartermaster” to distribute campaign materials to the grassroots activists.