- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Former state senator and one-time tea party favorite Randy Brogdon, who ran unsuccessfully for governor and U.S. Senate, said Wednesday he would challenge incumbent Dave Weston to be chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party.

Brogdon said he would seek the state party’s top post at the Oklahoma GOP’s convention in April, while Weston also announced Wednesday that he would seek another term.

“I’m still a Republican who believes in limited government and expanding our personal liberty, and I can tell you that two of my highest priorities will be to continue to grow the party and get conservative Republicans elected to government positions at every level,” Brogdon said.

The 61-year-old Brogdon, of Owasso, is a former state senator who rode a tea party wave to nearly 40 percent of the vote in a GOP primary against Mary Fallin in 2010. After his defeat, he took a job as deputy insurance commissioner under newly elected Republican Insurance Commissioner John Doak.

Brogdon announced last year that he would run against Fallin again, but instead launched a bid for U.S. Senate when Tom Coburn announced he was stepping down. He finished with less than 5 percent of the vote in a seven-man Republican primary in June.

Weston, 46, of Lexington, was elected to the chairman’s post at the state convention in 2013 with about 60 percent of the vote over Amanda Teegarden of Tulsa. The two were vying to replace outgoing GOP Chairman Matt Pinnell, who decided not to run for a third term.

Weston, who became active in party politics about 15 years ago during the right-to-work initiative in Oklahoma, said he wants to build on the success Republicans had during this year’s election, which saw the GOP sweep every federal and statewide race, expand its majority in the state Senate and maintain its supermajority in the House.

“Our vision for the party is to continue to grow and build upon the momentum that we have,” Weston said.

Weston also said the party is busy preparing to host the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City in May.

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