State Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee, has a track record of winning votes in heavily Democratic areas as a conservative and should not be overlooked. He's served three terms in the state House. Dustin Rowe is another conservative with proven appeal to traditional Democrat voters. Elected mayor of Tishomingo at age 18, he served two terms and also worked for former U.S. Sen. Don Nickles and former U.S. Rep. Wes Watkins.
Dakota Wood served 20 years in the military and eventually became a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C., where he focused on national security and defense issues. Although he has family roots in the district, Wayne Pettigrew is a bit of a carpetbagger, having previously served 10 years in the state House representing Edmond, where he also lost a mayoral race. Dwayne Thompson, a preacher and former salesman, has lagged far behind the other candidates in fundraising.
The district has only about 110,000 registered Republicans and actual turnout could be far lower. Thanks to Obama's polices, that handful of voters may effectively select eastern Oklahoma's next congressman.
If Republicans win the 2nd District, the GOP would hold every congressional seat and all statewide offices, as well as control the Legislature. That would be a first in Oklahoma history and produce a much different political picture than just a generation ago.