The leader of the Oklahoma Republican Party differed with ways with major GOP candidates over the conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 presidential election.
He partied ways with them when he said on social media that the ’20 election was not stolen and the party needs to focus on the future.
Both candidates vying for the GOP nomination to fill the seat of the seat of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (Rep., Okla.)—U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (Rep., Okla.) and T.W. Shannon—are both campaigning, saying the election was stolen from former President Donald J. Trump.
“The Trump campaign had every opportunity to bring forward evidence in court and failed to do so,” A.J. Ferate said in a social media message.
“It takes a ‘clear and convincing’ standard to prove fraud in court. They didn’t put forward a scintilla of provable evidence.”
In another message, he wrote, “We as a party needs to quit jumping the shark on the 2020 election and focus on convincing voters to show up for each future one.”
Mr. Ferate made the messages after Rep. Mullin and Mr. ShannonT.W. Shannon both said in a televised debate last week that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election.
“The election actually was stolen,” Mr. Shannon said in the debate. “I believe that wholeheartedly.
“We should do a full investigation to ensure election integrity.”
Mr. Ferate made his comments while in Chicago for a meeting of the GOP National Committee.
In an interview last week, Ferate said he had received only one negative response to his tweets.
“It’s something I’ve felt, it’s something I haven’t said,” Ferate said.
An Oklahoma City attorney who won election as GOP chairman in May, Mr. Ferate said he had discussed the matter with Tulsa County “Republicans.
“We can have a dialogue about it, we can have a discussion about it, but at the end of the day, it’s important to have those tough conversations,” he said.
“And that’s really where we are now if we have two Senate candidates who believe that the primary issue they need to address is the 2020 election, when my job is getting people to go back to vote in forward-looking elections.”
State GOP chair: ‘I said the quiet part out loud’
The comments from Mullin and Shannon about former President Donald Trump’s loss in 2020 actually came in response to questions, and both became frustrated at having to address the matter in the televised debate.
Ferate’s position is a total reversal from his predecessor, John Bennett, who stepped down to run for Congress.
“Bennett aligned himself with the faction of the party that believes the election was stolen and tried unsuccessfully to get party leaders to censure Inhofe and Sen. James Lankford for voting to accept Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania.”