(Update: On Tuesday, June 28, Jarrin Jackson and Ally Seifried advanced to an Aug. 23 Republican primary runoff.)
After eight years serving State Senate District 2 in northeast Oklahoma, term-limited Sen. Marty Quinn (R-Claremore) is running for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District. Four candidates are running for the Republican nomination to replace him in SD 2, including one who wants the U.S. to claim all of outer space as its territory.
If no single candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote in the June 28 primary, the top two finishers will head to runoff Aug. 23. The ultimate winner of the GOP primary will face the lone Democrat in the race, Jennifer Esau, on Nov. 8.
Senate District 2 is located mostly in Rogers County and includes the areas surrounding Claremore, Catoosa and Verdigris.
The following overview of the GOP candidates is derived from publicly available information and presented in alphabetical order. The deadline to register to vote in the June 28 election is June 3. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, and early voting will run June 23-25.
Background: Austin has been a tribal councilor representing the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council’s District 14 since 2015. He founded All Points Delivery, a Tulsa courier company, in 1999. In October 2020, Austin portrayed Elijah Hicks, a Cherokee statesman and leader on the Trail of Tears, in a Rogers County Historical Society Cemetery Walking Tour fundraiser.
Platform: Austin cites his experience as an elected Cherokee Tribal Council member as the basis for future success in the Oklahoma Legislature. Neither his campaign website nor his Facebook page list specific platform points, but he calls himself a “pro-life, commonsense conservative” and lists a number of issues that are important to him, including supporting the First and Second Amendments, capitalism, limited government, election integrity and law and order.
Background: Jackson is a conservative activist, ammo company owner and author. Jackson served in the U.S. Army from 2008 to 2015 after graduating from West Point. He unsuccessfully ran for Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District seat in 2016 and 2018.
Platform: Jackson’s campaign slogan is “Christ, not communism.” He gained national notoriety earlier this year when he posted a video of himself using a rifle to shoot a printer on which he had written “Dominion,” a reference to the company falsely accused of using its voting machines to swing the 2020 election. He had also written “property of godless commies” and other phrases on the printer. On his website, which contains Christian references throughout, he calls for securing the border, stopping critical race theory and stopping “homosexual education of children.” Additionally, he aligns himself with former President Donald Trump and calls himself pro-Second Amendment, pro-election integrity and pro-“parental rights and school choice.” Jackson’s pinned post on Twitter additionally lists his platform as including efforts to “bust up big tech” and big banks, and he calls for outer space to be a U.S. territory. He originally posted the Tweet in November 2020.
Background: Jenkins has served more than 45 years in law enforcement in various communities across Oklahoma, according to his campaign website. He has served as a Tulsa police officer and as chief of the Oklahoma City University Police Department, and he has worked in S.W.A.T. and in undercover narcotics units. Currently, he is a major in the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office.
Platform: Jenkins’ website lists three main points of his platform: criminal justice, education and veterans affairs. For criminal justice, Jenkins says his four decades in law enforcement have shown him where the system can be reformed, including in sentencing and in helping those who are released from prison. For education, Jenkins says he will “be an ally” for teachers to ensure proper funding. For veterans, Jenkins says he wants to improve their services because many do not receive “our nation’s best health care and benefits.”
Ally Seifried (R)
Background: Seifried is an account manager for Müllerhaus Legacy, a Tulsa company that does research, communication and publishing to preserve “family and business heritage.” She played basketball at Rogers State University and graduated in 2015 with a degree in political science, according to her website and LinkedIn page. In 2016 and 2017, Seifried served as an executive assistant to Oklahoma Sen. Dan Newberry (R-Tulsa). Seifried was born, raised and educated in Claremore, where she still lives.
Platform: Seifried calls herself a “strong conservative,” aligning herself with Trump and the NRA and identifying as “100 percent pro-life” on her website. She argues for reducing unspecified regulations which hurt small businesses. Additionally, she says she will demand that “critical race theory be banned from classrooms” and that she will empower parents to choose their kids’ school.
Seifried has been endorsed by the State Chamber Political Action Committee.