Former state lawmaker to head Oklahoma Democrats
Oklahoma Democrats, whose candidates received a shellacking at the polls in November, stumbled in their efforts Saturday to elect new leadership.
Former state Rep. Wallace Collins, one of many Democrats defeated last year, was elected chairman of the state Democratic Party in what started out as a six-way race.
Todd Goodman, elected two years ago, did not seek re-election. He was at the party’s helm when Republicans last year captured every statewide post on the ballot and made historic gains in the state House of Representatives and state Senate. For the first time in the state’s 104-year history, a Republican governor is in office at the time Republicans control the Legislature.
“In many ways some people compared my chairmanship to getting the keys to the Titanic after it had already hit the iceberg,” said Goodman, who plans to do consulting work and spend more time in his duties as vice chairman of the Caddo Nation.
Unofficial results Saturday showed Collins, of Norman, winning a majority of votes in the first round of balloting, but the six candidates received nearly 100 more votes than there were delegates eligible to vote. It brought back to longtime delegates memories of 1999 when Mike Mass – a state representative from Hartshorne backed by Gene Stipe, a state senator from McAlester — beat state Democratic Party Executive Director Pat Hall in the chairman’s race by two votes. More votes than delegates – 702-670 — were cast, but the results were allowed to stand.
Saturday, 568 votes were cast, but there were only 473 qualified delegates to vote, announced Tim Reese, who served as convention chairman. Unofficial results showed Collins winning a majority of votes and Mannix Barnes receiving one more vote than Dana Orwig to finish second and qualify for a runoff with Collins.
Convention officials decided to check the credentials of each delegate, a process that took more than 2 ½ hours. The revote started after 4:30 p.m., more than an hour after the one-day convention was scheduled to end.
Before voting on the second election started, two contenders – Jed Green, an Oklahoma City campaign consultant who ran unsuccessful Democratic attorney general candidate Jim Priest’s race last year, and Troy Green, who unsuccessfully opposed Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, three times – dropped out of the race and endorsed Collins.
Collins in the second election received 249 votes and it was announced Barnes, who served as chief of staff to former Democratic Labor Commissioner Lloyd Fields, finished second to Orwig, who unsuccessfully last year ran against state Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City. Barnes was reported as having received 159 votes and Orwig 157. But convention officials then announced an error had occurred in the calculation and that Barnes had received 16 more votes than he should have. That gave Barnes 143 votes and put Orwig instead of Barnes in a runoff with Collins.
Collins won the runoff, 326-213, over Orwig.
Many delegates grumbled about the election missteps. A Muskogee County delegate said when announcing his county’s vote totals that he had seen better-run student council elections.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 15647OKC Central: Architectural "Worsts"
- 15447Oklahoma storms: Profile of Life: Megan and Case Futrell
- 10056'Firehouse' in Oklahoma City's Deep Deuce is set to become new home
- 9335Was Special Treatment Given in Oklahoma Vice Mayor DUI Traffic Stop?
- 8950Norman man threatens Oklahoma Gov. Fallin's 'child' and local sheriff in emails
- 7906Oklahoma baseball: Joe Simpson 'thrilled' that Sunny Golloway left OU
- 7604Live blog: "The Voice" Season 4 live finale
- 7402Two teacher programs at Oklahoma universities called ineffective
- 7043Classen School of Advanced Studies valedictorian disappears while hiking with family in Ecuador
- 7042Red meat might be delicious, but not as nutritious
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients