Political Analysis: Former elected politician and career bureaucrat Randy Brogdon has dissolved the campaign corporation established to advance his second bid for Oklahoma Governor and now his personal web space proclaims an active effort for the U.S. Senate.
While never a fan of the man, this effort befuddles the writer and most state political observers.
Brogdon lost by overwhelming numbers in his last effort and was expected to draw even lower levels of support should he run again for governor. Candidates that seek party support don’t challenge incumbents, but Brogdon asserts that no one living is more conservative than he is, therefore, he expects and often demands all conservatives follow him – the Republican Party be damned.
Oklahoma will hold two U.S. Senate elections this year; a special election for the final two years of Tom Coburn’s term and a six-year term for the seat now held by Sen. Jim Inhofe.
Ignoring other better qualified candidates for the U.S. Senate, Brogdon must carry one glaring ton of bricks in any campaign. In short, he spent his career raving about career bureaucrats then he became one.
Many individuals transition from business to government and back to business or media for that matter, but Brogdon as a State Senator railed at rallies – shaking an angry fist against those who would use influence to win a much higher paying state government agency job after elected service thereby doubling their existing state pensions – retroactively. Guess what, Brogdon did that with the Oklahoma Insurance Department.
Is it not dumb to do what you have damned for years? Will this return to a public political effort finally end Brogdon’s government gravy-train? He resigned the insurance position. If he can’t win governor or senator, he might have to take work as a radio talk show host which doesn’t require consistent coherence.
Brogdon’s service at the Insurance Department is discussed on RandyBrogdon.com in glowing terms: “After eight years in the Oklahoma Senate and forgoing his last term to run for governor, Randy served Oklahoma taxpayers as the Deputy Commissioner of the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID). There, Randy was tasked with reforming the Anti-Fraud Unit by setting new policies, implementing a new investigative plan, and restructuring the department to eliminate nearly half of the staff positions. His actions reduced the budget for the Fraud Unit by $330,000 in his first 90 days on the job. Investigations and prosecutions actually increased despite having a smaller budget and staff. Randy then created agency protocols and supervised field representatives while establishing an Insurance Services Offices (ISO) division within OID, which helped fire departments around the state to improve fire suppression capabilities by improving their ISO ratings.”
Wow, what a guy. But if he was so good at the work why didn’t he continue? Did you notice the words “Forgoing his last term to run for governor” which could be reasonably restated as “driven by ambition for higher office.”
The sad note is that many of the most conservative right-wing activists expected to be Brogdon supporters are gone. They are busy in local races or with other candidates in statewide contests. Did Brogdon find only lint in his back pocket to sandwich with ambition?
The early test of a candidacy is found in fundraising reports required by law after filing for any state or federal seat. This may be the second short race for Brogdon in the same year – a historical record in Oklahoma? If he can’t raise money or attract volunteers, the odds are good Brogdon will not formally file regardless what any web site may proclaim – even RandyBrogdon.com.