In the Republican primary runoff for State Senate District 2 in the Claremore area, one candidate has the endorsement of her two previous opponents and the other says he is working “to defend Oklahomans against further communist infiltration.”
Though both candidates align themselves with former President Donald Trump and conservative policies, their political messaging differs greatly.
Emerging from a primary field of four candidates, Jarrin Jackson, 36, advanced to the Aug. 23 runoff with 34.44 percent of the vote. Ally Seifried, 29, received 32.19 percent. The winner of the runoff will compete in the November general election against Democrat Jennifer Esau.
Senate District 2 lies northeast of Tulsa in southern Rogers County and northeastern Tulsa County. Its biggest municipality is Claremore. The seat is open because Sen. Marty Quinn (R-Claremore) is term-limited and decided to run for the open 2nd Congressional District, though he lost in the primary.
‘Property of godless commies’
Seifried said she decided to run for the Senate because of her experience and identity as a lifelong Claremore resident.
“I think you combine my business experience, some of my political experience, and just basic community knowledge, and I really want to go and serve to make a difference for Senate District 2,” Seifried said.
Seifried worked as an executive assistant for former Sen. Dan Newberry (R-Tulsa) in 2016 and 2017, according to her LinkedIn page. She said her family owns eight small businesses in the construction, chiropractic, accounting, veterinary, heat and air, printing and restaurant industries. Currently, Seifried is an account manager for Müllerhaus Legacy, a Tulsa company that creates custom history books and projects to preserve “family and business heritage.” She said she plans to stay with the company if she wins the Senate District 2 seat.
Though Jackson has a lot to say online about godlessness, communism and globalism, he is less interested in talking to journalists about it. He declined a phone interview with NonDoc, but he did answer questions via email.
“Normally, I’m an open book and I’ll speak from the cuff, but media is different because media changes things,” Jackson said in the phone call.
Jackson owns an ammunition company and has written two books, which he self-published and sells on his personal website. His most recent is titled, The Gospel as Warfare: What Christ Meant by “Go,” and explains “God’s way of warring.”
According to Jackson’s campaign website, he lives south of Claremore. He graduated from West Point in 2008 and unsuccessfully ran for Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District seat in 2016 and 2018. Asked about his most important issues, Jackson described the priorities of his campaign.
“My campaign is an America First campaign looking to secure the border and to stop the sexualization of our children,” he wrote in an email. “I’ll do that by defending the Constitution, treating globalism as a threat to Oklahoma, and by being outspoken about the gospel of Jesus Christ for the salvation of sin.”
Earlier this year, Jackson made national headlines when he posted a video in which he wrote “Dominion” on a printer, a reference to voting machines, and shot it with a rifle. He had also written “property of godless commies” and other phrases on the printer. On his website, he calls the 2020 presidential election “stolen.”
On the social media site Telegram, Jackson has also promoted other conspiracy theories involving the “Illuminati” and the coronavirus. Before he filed to run for Senate District 2, Jackson made anti-Semitic comments on Telegram where he included “the Jews” in a list of organizations he deemed “evil.”
Compassionate conservatism vs. America first
Jackson’s campaign slogan is “Christ, not Communism,” and he makes multiple references on his website to Christianity in government, saying “public officials need to appeal to the authority of scripture more often and with greater deliberation.”
Calling his bid for the seat an “America First campaign,” Jackson aligns himself with Trump and against “globalism.” In responding to questions by email, Jackson said he has many things he’d like to accomplish if elected.
“Of the many of America First ideas I have, I’d like to assert state sovereignty in the form of deporting all illegals and seizing foreign owned assets in Oklahoma, build an armory to nullify federal influence on the 2A, and give individuals a pathway for civil liability against monopolies that enjoy government protections (like Big Tech, Big Pharma, Federal Reserve),” Jackson said.
Seifried called herself a “compassionate conservative,” harkening back to the Republicanism of George Bush, even as she says on her website that she is “Trump tough.”
Referencing the June inflation rate, Seifried said one of her top priorities in office would be “making sure that my community is growing, that businesses and entrepreneurs can succeed, that we’ve got an environment that’s conducive to growth so that Oklahoma can keep going down the right path and keep moving into the future.”
She added that her immediate focus would be on “reducing regulations” to achieve this goal.
Once it became clear Seifried and Jackson would advance to a runoff on election night, Seifried said the other two candidates in the primary, Keith Austin and Coy Jenkins, both came to her watch party to endorse her.
“I think it really speaks highly of our community,” Seifried said of the endorsements, adding that she thinks her former opponents did so because their values are more closely aligned with hers.
Jackson is endorsed by a number of conservative pundits, candidates and bloggers, including Wendy Rogers, an Arizona state senator who has helped fuel conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election and was censured by her colleagues earlier this year for threatening violence against her rivals. Jackson is also endorsed by Gun Owners for America, the Oklahoma Liberty Ticket and Stand for Health Freedom.
Asked what he would say to voters who might prefer a more “professional” candidate owing to his controversial videos, Jackson spoke about Jesus.
“My international audience is a result of my daily streams that bring a Biblical worldview to analyzing the day’s topics — to include practical tips on localizing political power and a daily invitation for people to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Jackson said. “The world hates Jesus Christ, and so it is expected that people would edit or remove context from publicly available videos that clearly point to Christ, because the spiritual evil of our day retains power the less people look to Christ for salvation.”
Oklahoma primary runoffs will take place Aug. 23. The deadline to register to vote in the election is July 29. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, and early voting will run Aug. 18-20.