- Associated Press - Saturday, April 18, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The new chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party said in a fundraising email this week that the state chapter has run out of money, prompting layoffs for seven staff members and other budget cuts.

Former state Sen. Randy Brogdon, who was elected this month as chairman, also said he would work without a salary and seek help from volunteers until the party’s finances turn around.

Brogdon declined in an interview with The Oklahoman newspaper (https://bit.ly/1DwkYKh ) to provide specific details about the financial condition the party was in when he took over, saying he was still talking to accountants and examining financial records. A Federal Election Commission report for the period ending Feb. 28 showed the state party to be $10,545 in debt.

“On my first day on the job, I found we were upside down on the balance sheet,” Brogdon said in the email that went out Thursday. “Simply stated, we had more bills to pay than money in the bank.”

Brogdon also makes a strong pitch for contributions in the letter, saying, “Now is the time for all of us to join together as Republicans and bring our finances back in the black.” He asked supporters to join the Minute Man Club at $8.25 a month.

Oklahoma Democratic Party chairman Wallace Collins said he was surprised the party is having financial troubles because Republicans control the state’s congressional delegation and both chambers of the Legislature.

The state Democratic Party has also had debt problems in the past before returning to solvency, he said.

Brogdon previously served eight years in the state Senate and now works in real estate. He was a gubernatorial candidate in 2010 and last year made an unsuccessful bid for a U.S. Senate seat.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, www.newsok.com

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