THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE
FOR DISTRICT 37
As we promised here we begin the look at the Republican candidate for the State Senate being vacated by Senator Newberry. The candidate is Republican Brian O'Hara. We took a lot of time in researching Mr. O'Hara simply because we wanted to be fair and accurate.
The first article we found was his campaign web site. We found it interesting in that he broke from recent trends and actually indicated on his web site that he did represent the Republican Party. That in itself is something we have been seeing less and less of from our candidates.
We first looked at his meet Brian page here. He tells you a little about his background and his family. More importantly though he tells you about three core values that will guide him in any decision on a vote he must make. He also points out his record of voting no on tax increases as a board member of the City of Jenks.
We next looked at his priorities page here. He does believe that every child is deserving of a quality education. I don't think you would find a parent that would say anything less. We get the feeling that he wants to throw more money at the problem. We are not sure that that would be the right approach. Two recent surveys came out that showed where the education system stood in Oklahoma. The first rated us at the 50th worst system in the nation. The second rated us as the 45th worst system in the nation. That is enough to cause a pause in the attempt to give teachers a pay raise. Why should we as parents, grandparents and citizens believe that our children and grandchildren will do any better if the teachers were to get a pay raise? They need to earn the reward of a pay raise based on merit not just because they show up every day.
As far as education goes, he fully supports the PTA. We have a problem with that. The National PTA organization has direct ties to the teachers union. More often than not they set the agenda for each meeting. We want our parents to be involved, however we recommend that the schools form a PTO that has a group of locally elected officials who are loyal only to the school itself.
The next article on his web site we looked at was this. This is a page that lists his priorities. Once again education is right at the top. We would prefer to see weeding out the bad apples out of the teaching ranks and hire good teachers. We would prefer to see a merit pay system for the teachers as well. To make it simple if a teacher is incapable of teaching the students to read, write and do math they are in the wrong profession.
The next article we found was this . It is the opinion of this staff that a candidate could receive no better of an endorsement than one coming from the most Conservative Representative we have in our D.C. delegation. There was reason he received the endorsement of Representative Bridenstein and it is our opinion it's the best reason a person could have. He earned it while he worked on the Representatives staff.
The next article of interest we found was this. This article gives a little more information on Mr. O'Hara. It makes it clear that this is a special election being held due to the resignation of Senator Dan Newberry. Mr. O'Hara, a former aide to Representative Bridenstein, defeated six other candidates to obtain the Republican nomination. That in itself took a lot of work.
The next article we found was this. This is more of an endorsement than it is an article. It is well worth opening the link and reading for yourself. They go on to tell you "The GOP field has several moderates who believe in higher taxes and several other issues that are not associated with Republican politics." That's the problem we face at the capital today. Far too many Republican legislators are selling their votes for campaign contributions instead of doing what is right for the citizens. They go on to say "The best candidate in the field is former Jenks City Councilor Brian O'Hara. O'Hara not only has extensive business experience but he recently served on the Congressional staff of U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine, R, Oklahoma."
The next item we found was also an endorsement. It went into a little more detail though. Here is what we found . It is hard to imagine the enormity of his victory in the primary without this endorsement. Seven individuals were vying for the candidacy yet he won without a runoff election. As the endorsement states
"With more than 77 percent of the votes, former congressional aide and Jenks city councilor Brian O'Hara was endorsed by the Tulsa Area Republican Assembly in the GOP primary for State Senate District 37. Only one other candidate, Republican Nicole Nixon, received the other percent of the votes."
We next went to to see what information they had available on Mr. O'Hara. We were surprised when we found this . There were only two entries here. One was from 2016 and one from 2017. Both were from the NRA and both were positive endorsements.
We next found an entry on his ratings and endorsements page here. This entry is also from the NRA and gives him an 86% rating for 2nd Amendment rights.
The next entry we found was in the campaign finance reports here. What we found here is amazing in politics today. A vast majority of his campaign funds indicated here were raised from individual donors. The only union contribution was from the Tulsa Fire Fighters Union Local 176 in the amount of $2,500.00. We knew we had to go elsewhere to verify this entry.
The other source for campaign contributions that we have doesn't have anything available on him. We are not sure if it's a computer glitch or what, but this is a matter we will continue to pursue.
Having looked at all available information on both candidates to finish the term of office being vacated by Senator Newberry, we find that there are no outward attempts by the Republican Candidate to hide anything from the voters as those being used by the Democratic Candidate. We never endorse a candidate outright, but the information we provide you should be enough to allow you to make a well informed decision.