Claremore Daily Progress

June 30, 2012

Republicans dash to the runoff

Mullin, Faught to face off on Aug. 28

Salesha Wilken
Staff Writer

CLAREMORE —  

Rogers County Republicans have a choice for District 2 Congressman — Markwayne Mullin or George Faught.
The pair finished first and second in last Tuesday’s Primary Election in their bid to be their party’s nominee in November. 
Mullin garnered 11,980 votes while Faught received 6,568 votes.
Since Mullin did not achieve a 50 percent majority, he and Faught will face off in the Aug.  28 runoff election.
“Obviously, with two candidates we will be linking the differences, the experience levels,” Faught said. 
It is now important to draw the differences between the two candidates, according to Faught.
The candidates will have to explain the way they will approach the general election, he said.
“The Democrats want to keep the seat and are willing to do anything,” Faught said. “I have been vetted and we feel we are in the best position to win.”
The core message is the same, however Faught plans to expand the conversation to let voters know what his plans are to address the issues.
Faught will take on certain topics, including the drudging of the inland ports including the Tulsa Port of Catoosa.
That waterway is “so important,” if it is opened it creates more opportunities for growth, takes stress of the highway system and lesson the dependence on the Mississippi River, according to Faught.
Faught plans to focus on getting the government out of the way so that businesses can survive. It will be one of his main focuses.
The Faught campaign plans to continue to identify these issues and listen to people in the communities across the district to see what is impacting them directly.
“Thirty-one percent of the voters will now be taking a second look at the candidates,” Faught said. “We will continue our grassroots effort and reach out to them.” 
Mullin is taking a different approach. He is sticking to his original message and expanding his policy statements to reach voters.
The main issue is doing something about these “ridiculous regulations that are just killing us” in the business world, according to Mullin.
“ObamaCare is a perfect example. Now that the Supreme Court has said it is the law of the land, our only hope is to repeal it. We have to repeal it. It is terrible for families who will be forced to buy a product they might not want or can’t afford, and it is terrible for businesses like mine who have over 50 employees,” Mullin said. “In our companies, we’re basically looking at a new $250,000 fine because of this. We’re gonna find a way to make it work, but I’m sure there will be plenty of companies who just say it isn’t worth it and they would rather downsize than pay all of those outrageous costs. This is the kind of thing that is just killing our economy.” 
Mullin added that he is looking forward to this new campaign and hopes Republicans don’t make the same mistake the Democrats have made by “going negative like politics as usual.” 
“We need to stick to the issues and be positive. I hope we will have a clean, positive campaign. That’s certainly my goal,” he said.
Mullin said he was grateful for the support he received in Rogers County. 
“I was tremendously humbled by all the support I received in the primary. It was such a huge win for us, especially here in Rogers County, and we’ve gotten a lot of momentum from it, so we’ve really been focused on taking that win and building on it for the runoff,” Mullin said. “I’m talking personally to as many people as I can just like I did in the primary, and I’m telling them what I believe in and what kind a Congressman I will be.”
Both Mullin and Faught will have to expand the playing field in the upcoming election to receive the necessary 51 percent to win.
Mullin has a substantial lead after receiving nearly 45 percent of Tuesday’s vote. Faught is planning to build his number through the support of voters that elected to select one of four other candidates that were on the ballot this week.
The winner of the runoff will face a Democrat and Independent candidate in November.