OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former Republican state senator and tea party favorite who once supported the creation of a state militia to protect Oklahoma from an “overreaching federal government” plans to run for governor again.
Randy Brogdon, who lost to Gov. Mary Fallin in the 2010 Republican primary and then boosted his government retirement benefits by taking a $99,000-a-year state job after the election, announced through social media that he will challenge Fallin next year.
The Secretary of State’s office said a “Brogdon for Governor” corporation was formed last week, and Brogdon told the Tulsa World on Thursday that he felt “compelled” to fight for liberty through another run.
Brogdon did not return numerous telephone and email messages left by The Associated Press, and a law firm that filed paperwork with the Secretary of State did not return messages left by telephone.
With broad tea party support in 2010, Brogdon won 39 percent of the vote against Fallin and two lesser-known challengers. After that race, Brogdon, the owner of a heating and air conditioning company, went to work for the Oklahoma Insurance Department.
He was one of several former Republican legislators hired as deputy commissioners by Insurance Commissioner John Doak, who was elected as part of a GOP sweep of statewide offices on the ballot in 2010.
Brogdon, who consistently railed against the size of government, worked as a deputy insurance commissioner until he announced in November that he planned to step down. His three years on the state payroll allowed him to increase his monthly benefit by more than 50 percent, according to estimates from the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System.
In an AP interview in 2010, Brogdon said he supported the creation of a state militia to protect the state against an overreaching federal government. After a backlash, Brogdon retreated from that position and suggested he was referring to a National Guard-type unit to aid the state during civil emergencies.
A spokesman for the Fallin campaign said Brogdon’s entry into the race will not change the governor’s plan to focus on the state’s thriving economy and her accomplishments during her first four years in office.
Rush Springs state Rep. Joe Dorman and R.J. Harris of Norman have indicated plans to run for the Democratic nomination.