Oklahoma Will Back John McCain; VP Cheney to Address State Convention

Oklahoma behind John McCain

Speaking on the upcoming state convention, Oklahoma Republican Committee Chairman Gary Jones said the hot topic will probably be “newcomers to the party who were supporters of Ron Paul.” He said he expects most delegates, though, to back John McCain. Indeed, Oklahoma has already taken that move. Thirty-two of the state’s 38 delegates by the state’s districts voted for McCain.

The six delegates from the other two districts, Jones said, were for Huckabee – but Huckabee having dropped out of the race following the Pennsylvania primary Tuesday night, Jones said his understanding was that those delegates may now vote for whomever they choose.

Jones said the executive committee met this past Saturday to make recommendations for 23 at-large delegates and 23 alternates for the state convention May 3.

“Because McCain won the state overall, by law and party rules [at-large delegates] are required to vote for him, until he drops out of the race, which I don’t believe will happen,” Jones said.

“I believe that McCain will easily win Oklahoma,” Jones added, “and I think that he will be the next president.”

Michael Schwartz, U.S. Sen. Coburn’s press secretary, also pointed to strong support for McCain in Oklahoma. This Friday, there will be a fundraiser in Oklahoma for Sen. McCain. Schwartz said because of the support for McCain in Oklahoma, the event is expected to be “record-breaking” in terms of the amount of money raised for him in a single night.

Dick Cheney confirmed speaker at Oklahoma’s pre-convention banquet; breakfast to honor troops

Jones said that Vice President Dick Cheney is the “special guest speaker” for the pre-convention gala banquet on Friday, May 2. He said that the topics of Mr. Cheney’s and of others’ remarks were not yet set. State Republican Committee Office Manager Jay Mandraccia said part of the address will be the importance of supporting Republican candidates, especially for the presidential bid.

Saturday morning before the convention, a prayer breakfast will be held honoring our troops. Mandraccia said the breakfast specifically honors two veterans from Oklahoma. Rex Duncan is a current member of the Oklahoma House, and Kevin Calvey is a former member.

Senator James Inhofe is a confirmed speaker for the convention. The topic of his remarks is also not set. Jones said at least three other congressmen and women will also attend.

If you go…

The pre-convention gala banquet is Friday evening at the Crown Plaza Hotel (100 E. 2nd Street, in Tulsa). The dinner starts at 6 p.m., but everyone must be there by 4 for security reasons.

The convention in Oklahoma is on Saturday, May 3, at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel (6808 S. 108th E. Avenue, Tulsa, OK). It is now earlier than the time announced on the Oklahoma Republican Committee Web site, from 8:30 until 3. The prayer breakfast starts at 7 the morning of the convention, in the same location.

For more information, contact Oklahoma Republican Committee Office Manager Jay Mandraccia, at (405) 528-3501,