Representative Harold Wright -R, Weatherford, was expelled by the Oklahoma Republican Party's ruling State Committee, today. The action took place at the State Committee meeting, in Edmond, OK.
OKGOP's national committeeman, Steve Curry, presented a letter of the OKGOP Executive Committee, advising action for Wright's actions, funding the campaign of a Democrat nominee(Jeff Berrong) for a state senate seat. Wright, who took money from the OKGOP for his own election, funneled at least $1000 to the Democrat effort, according to campaign reporting documents with the state Ethics Commission. Meanwhile, the OKGOP was funding the campaign of the Republican nominee(Brent Howard).
Republican legislators are granted inclusion in the ruling body of the OKGOP, by being in elective office. Wright has been a State Committee member for several years.
Rule 19-g states criteria for removal from office. The criteria specifically states that campaigning for, or giving money to the opponent of a Republican nominee is grounds for removal from all party leadership offices.
Canadian County Chairman, Andrew Lopez made the motion on Harold Wright's immediate removal. Former National Committeeman, Steve Fair seconded the motion. The final vote was nearly unanimous with one lone voice voting 'nay'.
He went on to tell what Rep. Wright said to him during the campaign.
"I spoke with Rep. Wright before he endorsed (but after he had donated) and the story he told me is the family had been friends for decades. He and Carol are so close that Jeff has called him ‘Uncle Harold’ even. I think those close personal ties, plus the fact that Rep. Wright has media businesses that rely on advertising (and the Berrong family has many business interests in Weatherford that spend advertising money) were just factors that outweighed his support of a fellow party member that he didn’t know.."
Bush is well known for her disparagements of many Republican elected officials in the past. She was elected as Caucus Secretary for the House Republicans, last month. Harold Wright was elected Speaker Pro Temp Designate, by the same House Republican Caucus.
Neither Wright nor Bush were present for the meeting. 122 members of the committee were present.
This action does not directly impact Wright's election or retention in public office, in the House of Representatives.