What was billed as a town hall meeting turned out to be a roundtable discussion with a handful of voters examining their choices in the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary election.
Darrel Robertson, a Delaware County rancher, businessman and professional angler, is challenging U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin for the post. Mullin was elected to represent the sprawling eastern Oklahoma district in 2012.
In his “You Deserve Answers Tour,” Robertson touched on a variety of topics during the political discourse that at times took on the tone of a Sunday school class. He criticized the freshman incumbent’s voting record as one that reflects the will of monied interests outside Oklahoma and chastised President Barack Obama and a variety of programs advocated by Democratic lawmakers.
Some of the issues Robertson believes are important include securing the borders, curbing government regulations and subsidies, fighting voting fraud and ending federal health care reforms. He also discussed ways to end problems associated with the seeming inability to provide health care to the country’s veterans.
“I think to fix the VA deal — money’s a problem — but let’s give all the veterans a health card and let the VA hospitals participate in public work,” Robertson said, noting his belief that the government owes veterans good health care.
“We have veterans at home who drive to Little Rock ... and pass 15 hospitals on the way that can do what they are needing.”
Robertson, who backed Mullin during the 2012 election, said his life experience sets him apart from his opponent. He cited his success in business — he transformed a $17,000 construction company into a multimillion-dollar manufacturing company and a 40-acre farm into a 5,000-acre ranch — as an example of his leadership abilities.
Above all else, Robertson said, Washington is in dire need of leaders with Christian values. He credited God for his successes and said the future of the country depends on it.
“I don’t think one person can go up there alone and do it,” Robertson said about changing the culture of Washington and the direction of America. “You have to have a coalition of people with Christian values and align yourself with the right people.”
Edith Gross, who serves as Muskogee County chairwoman for Robertson’s campaign, said the GOP challenger “is seasoned, a thinker, and a man who can think for himself.” She said Robertson would be less likely than Mullin to be “easily influenced” by campaign contributions.
Robertson, for his part, said his job between now and the June 24 primary election is to distinguish himself from Mullin and let voters “make their own minds up.”
“He may be a good plumber, but he is not a good congressman,” Robertson said.
Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• June 18. Deadline to request an absentee ballot.
• Early voting:
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 19.
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 20.
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 21.
• June 24 primary.