(Pugh, who calls himself a conservative patriot, served a purpose in terms of contrast, but if he was really in favor of public education here, he would suspend his campaign, throw all his support to McDonald and start actively campaigning for him. That would show great leadership and open up doors for him here in the future.—Kurt Hochenauer)
Congratulations to Edmond Public Schools Teacher of the Year, Kevin McDonald from Memorial High School! http://t.co/98dkmZZk0j
— Ok State Dept of Ed (@oksde) May 1, 2015
It’s difficult not to see the extremist minister Paul Blair’s defeat in the District 41 Edmond state senate race as a shift in the political milieu here.
Conservatives, of course, are trying to play it as “tone” issue between Blair and the winning candidate Adam Pugh in the Republican runoff election Tuesday, but I believe or at least I want to believe there’s more to it than that. Blair was the next state embarrassment, along the lines of state Rep. Sally Kern, waiting to happen in Oklahoma, and he was soundly rejected.
Pugh collected 4,313 votes or 54.12 percent and Blair collected 3,656 votes or 45.88 percent, according to election board records.
Blair is a conservative minister of the Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond and a former football player in the NFL and at Oklahoma State University. He founded or is very active in some weird movement called Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ or Reclaiming America For Christ (it’s a bit confusing in the media reports), a right-wing extremist initiative in a state dominated by conservative and radical religious people who spew hate and narrow-minded dogma as they meth it up, chew some chaw, drink their 3.2 percent Buds and shoot their assault rifles for fun and pleasure. But, hey, they’re so darn friendly, ain’t they?
In other words, Blair symbolizes everything that has turned this state into a cesspool of mediocrity in recent years with its major cuts to education and agencies that help the poor. He embodies all that Kern represents, with her anti-gay agenda and racist remarks. Because of his radical stances, I think many people thought Blair was a shoo-in to start embarrassing the state of Oklahoma with close-minded outrageous remarks and crazy legislative initiatives as the extremist Kern leaves office.
But Pugh, who gets mostly described as an Air Force veteran and, get this, an actual supporter of public education, won the race handily. This is anecdotal but it seemed to me Blair had more signs than Pugh by at least a 2 to 1 margin in Edmond, and Blair also had an all-star cast of conservatives supporting him. Even Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, a basic traitor of the Democratic Party, endorsed him. Let’s be very clear that Prater lost all his credibility among progressives and most Democrats (they aren’t the same thing here in Oklahoma) for his endorsement of Blair.
So what was the message voters were sending? Was it a message at all?
Edmond, of course, is Oklahoma City’s rich suburb and also possesses a lot of highly educated people. So maybe, just maybe, the affluent, educated people here are sick and tired of the antics and proposed legislation of politicians like Kern and want more taxpayer funding for education. Let’s hope this means the political aspirations of radicals like Blair are now rendered obsolete and a new awakening of the intelligentsia here is now happening. We can hope, anyway.
The main thing here, though, is the Democratic Party has a great candidate for the Senate seat in the general election. His name is Kevin McDonald, a local teacher, running on a solid pro-education platform that Pugh can only pretend to emulate among his tricky conservative friends and supporters.
If Oklahomans and, in particular, Edmondites, want to restore funding for education and some sanity to the Oklahoma Legislature and the overall political process here, they need to start electing people such as McDonald to office.
Pugh, who calls himself a conservative patriot, served a purpose in terms of contrast, but if he was really in favor of public education here, he would suspend his campaign, throw all his support to McDonald and start actively campaigning for him. That would show great leadership and open up doors for him here in the future.