RJ Harris was the first candidate for Governor to challenge Mary Fallin and seek the nomination of the Democratic party. He came in strong with a number of views on ballot access reform and election freedom that we liked. Unfortunately, he has decided to drop out of the race. Instead, he has decided to endorse Representative Joe Dorman for Governor.
We’ve got a candidate here in Joe that, even if we don’t see eye-to-eye on every issue, if I wasn’t convinced that he wasn’t serious about taking some of these issues head-on then I wouldn’t be doing this.
This leaves only three people left in the governor race, Incumbent Mary Fallin, Republican challenger Randy Brogdon, and Democratic challenger Joe Dorman. Of the three, Brogdon has the strongest history as friendly to ballot access reform, having authored strong ballot access reform legislation. Representative Joe Dorman has voted in favor of every ballot access reform bill to come to a vote.
Earlier this year, we reported that RJ Harris was considering running for Governor on the Democratic ticket. This past weekend, he made that official by filing with the State Ethics Commission. As of this time, no other Democrats have expressed interest in running for Governor.
Many people have already expressed concerned about his party allegiance as he has never run for office as a Democrat before. His campaign history has him as a Republican, Independent and Libertarian. In response to these concerns, Harris responded in the comments of the NewsOK report that anyone who values liberty should support him.
I know there will be some strong opinions for and against my candidacy but I am sure we all agree an election with only one name on the ballot is no election at all. In response to those commenting on my changing parties. When I saw first hand how so many in the Republican Party are still swayed by racism and religious bigotry; and when I saw how the OK GOP leadership would lie and cheat to prevent the properly elected Ron Paul delegates from attending the national convention in Florida, I realized that there was simply no place left for me there nor for anyone who’s primary political goals are the advancement of freedom over tyranny. If you are someone who wants your government to stay out of your private life and also wants your government to be accountable for the money it takes from you then I encourage you to join me in the Oklahoma Democratic Party where we will be working together to restore the Democratic Parties of Jefferson and Kennedy…which is to say a party COMMITTED to the advancement of personal, religious and economic liberty. While this may be out of step with what Democratic leaders are doing nationally, here in Oklahoma, we will fight for Liberty.
While this stance may not calm the fears of all Democratic voters, it has at least been okayed by Wallace Collins, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.
As for the two known candidates for Governor, Mary Fallin and RJ Harris, Harris is the only one of the two with strong support for ballot access. He has made ballot access reform one of his key issues:
Overly aggressive limitations placed upon ballot access strike at the very legitimacy of the electoral process by calling into question whether a truly representative government has been seated. We are a state and a nation of very diverse political philosophies so why should our choices of public servants be limited to only those from the top two major parties? Freedom of choice and true representative government means that we have an honest and complete choice of parties and candidates from which to choose and not a watered down list provided by those already in power. As Governor, I will fight to restore very liberal ballot access for all political parties and candidates and I trust the people of Oklahoma, not the political interests, to make the best selections of the candidates they wish to serve them regardless of party affiliation.
We will continue to keep you updated on all news regarding candidates for and against ballot access reform.
Earlier today, RJ Harris announced his intent to run for governor as the Democratic candidate. News reports had been circulating stating that the Democratic Party has not put forth a candidate for Governor as of yet. In response to an article in the Washington Post about Libertarian Democrats, RJ Harris wrote on Facebook:
I will rise to this challenge and I hope you will rise with me. It is official; I am forming a campaign to run for the Oklahoma Democrat Party’s nomination for Governor. Oklahoma Constitutional Conservatives; it is time to put our principles for freedom ahead of party politics, it’s time to fight for LIBERTY. Continue reading →