Oklahoma Elections: Bridenstine credits voters' desire for new leadership for his upset victory over Sullivan

Oklahoma Republican newcomer Jim Bridenstine, who has pledged to serve only six years, got tea party endorsements as he rode an anti-incumbency wave to decisive victory over 10-year incumbent.
by Chris Casteel Published: June 27, 2012

Bridenstine said he couldn't match Sullivan's campaign spending, but he tried to maintain a presence in all segments.

“If he did four direct mail pieces, we did one,'' Bridenstine said. “If he ran four ads on TV, we ran one, if he ran four radio ads, we ran one.”

Bridenstine said he didn't have financial support from tea party groups, but did have endorsements and support from Tulsa's 9.12 Project, which is aligned with tea party values, and the Restoring America Project, which is led by tea party leaders.

“I've been called tea party,” Bridenstine said Wednesday. “At this point, I'm a Republican. I see the tea party as not really a cohesive group. There are as many different types of tea party folks as there are Republicans.”

Tea partyers generally believe in strict adherence to the U.S. Constitution, low taxes and low regulation, said Bridenstine, who has pledged to serve no more than six years in the House if he is elected.

Heading into the general election campaign against Democrat John Olson and independent Craig Allen, Bridenstine said his goal is to unite all Republicans.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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