Former state representative John Bennett of Sallisaw was elected chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party on April 10.
Bennett, who is originally from Vian, served in the Oklahoma House for eight years. He is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The new chairman said he “term-limited” himself in 2018 and left the House, but decided to seek the GOP’s top job after the 2020 presidential election was “stolen.” Bennett said the election was “a message to the American people. I refused to stand by and let it happen. I didn’t want my children growing up in a Communist country so I had to take action.”
Bennett announced his candidacy for the state GOP chairman’s seat in December 2020 with the following statement: “As a retired Marine, I love this country and have protected her freedom and the best way I can help protect Oklahoma at this point is to provide strong leadership for Oklahoma’s Republican Party.”
The role of the Republican Party chairman, Bennett said, is to provide guidance to party members, recruit new members and assist state and national candidates, as well as cast the state’s vote for president at the Republican National Convention.
Bennett said his new role, which is for a two-year term, will benefit Eastern Oklahoma and Sequoyah County. “We’ve never had much representation here, but now we will have a voice in rural areas as well as urban regions” such as Oklahoma City or Tulsa. “I want to build a bridge to unite all parties together.”
Bennett and his wife Nicole have five children.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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