OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA, March 21, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Under Democratic Party rules, pro-life activist Randall Terry won enough of the vote in this month’s Oklahoma presidential primary to receive delegates to the Democratic National Convention, but state party officials say they will not be awarded.
The founder of Operation Rescue racked up 18 percent of that state’s Democratic primary vote earlier this month, defeating Barack Obama in 14 counties. Party rules award delegates to anyone who wins at least 15 percent of the electorate. But the interim executive director of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, Trav Robertson, has said Terry is not “a bona fide Democrat,” and thus not eligible for any delegates.
Jim Rogers, the state Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate candidate in 2010, who won three counties, will also be denied.
State Party Chairman Wallace Collins said since neither Terry nor Rogers filed paperwork listing a slate of delegates, all their delegates would be awarded to Barack Obama.
Political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia, told LifeSiteNews.com that, although state officials have kept candidates from appearing on their party’s ballot in the past, he was not sure if a party had ever refused to award delegates to a candidate after an election.
“To me, the stunning thing was that Obama opponents got such a large percentage of the [Oklahoma] Democratic primary vote,” Dr. Sabato said in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews. “That was under-reported. After all, the president is considered by most people to be unopposed for re-nomination.”
Dr. Sabato added, “I know from my own trips to [Oklahoma] that Barack Obama has rock-bottom popularity in the state.” In 2008, Obama did not carry a single county in the state against Republican John McCain.
Randall Terry, who told the media he is eligible for six delegates, has not yet determined whether he will file a legal challenge.
This kind of “political insider trading,” Terry said, “shows the power and the corruption of the party.”
“Of course, I am a little disappointed, but it does not come as a shock to me,” he said. “In fact, at the beginning of the week, I spoke with the chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party – in a very pleasant conversation – and I told him: ‘We both know the DNC is not going to let my delegates be seated.’ He laughed, and said, ‘Yes, that is true.’”
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The pro-life activist, who has run for office twice before in New York and Florida, is heading a slate of candidates who are running to exploit an election law loophole that guarantees candidates television stations will accept their political ads in most circumstances. Terry and a half-dozen candidates across the country have used that law to air graphic ads exposing the horrors of abortion.
Terry is now concentrating on the state of New Jersey, where he can run more such commercials in the nation’s largest media market.
Terry said in a press release that Democratic officials were embarrassed by Obama’s weak showing and hope to prevent a repeat by keeping his name off the ballot, if necessary.
“We can only hope that the state party officials resist the pressure to betray their state party rules,” Terry said. “I have met all the legal and party requirements to be a candidate, and I am entitled to exercise my rights as an American, and as a Democratic candidate for president. The conservative Catholic and Evangelical wings of the Democratic Party deserve a voice in this election cycle.”
His campaign website is TerryForPresident.com.