Tahlequah Daily Press


August 21, 2013

Locals discuss GOP presidential picks

The first in a two-part series reveals New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is favored by many.

TAHLEQUAH — tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com

President Barack Obama may only be in the first year of his second term, but Republicans are already vying to unseat the Democrats in 2016.

National polls indicate there are five contenders for the GOP slot: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, and former vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

A Rassmussen poll released this month shows Christie, who is still running for re-election in his home state, as the clear front-runner for the nomination, with 21 percent support. He is followed closely by Rubio, who has 18 percent, and Bush with 16 percent. Paul and Ryan have garnered 15 and 13 percent of the vote in the poll respectively.

Shannon Grimes, chairman of the Cherokee County Republican Party, believes it’s still too early to begin predicting who will land the nomination.

“I think we may often do ourselves wrong when we start playing along with the political machine-driven ‘contenders’ who are presented to us each season, especially [when the election is] over two years’ out,” said Grimes. “Part of why we keep getting the same old politics in D.C. is that we keep letting the same old political interests push forward with pre-approved contenders the [party bosses] are OK with us choosing.”

Grimes said sticking with the status quo only aids those with special interests.

“Sadly, in that game, there usually doesn’t end up being much real difference in policies and the only real winners are going to be those interests that chose the menu of candidates to present us,” said Grimes.

Grimes believes to affect real change, people have to focus on the present.

“I also think starting so early distracts people from the work that can be done now,” he said. “Instead, we start looking down the road to the next great one who will save us instead of doing the work that can be done now. “There is a lot of work that can be done now.”

Christie favored among         local Republicans

In its Saturday Facebook forum, the Daily Press asked its friends who they would choose if voting Republican in 2016. As in national polling, Christie emerged as the candidate to watch.

Christie is well-known for his straightforward, no-nonsense approach to politics and governing, a trait some locals seem to admire.

“If I were to vote Republican, it would be for Christie,” said NSU employee Olga Hoenes. “He lets you know how he feels and where he stands. Right or wrong, you know what he believes. The others are too sneaky.”

Republican John Sisemore, who was area manager for Southwestern Bell when he lived in Tahlequah a number of years ago, is considering both Christie and Rubio, but joked about Paul’s potential candidacy.

“Right now, it’s a toss-up between Christie and Rubio, assuming there are no other reasonable candidates, and I’m starting a petition to have Rand Paul put on the ballot in Venezuela,” he said.

John Morgan, Cherokee Nation Industries employee, doesn’t think the GOP can pull ahead of would-be candidate and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“Any of the above choices would be great for the late-night comics,” said Morgan. “Any would be a great choice for Hillary to demolish in any debate.”

Area resident Jim O’Rourke thinks Christie has bipartisan appeal.

“[Christie] seems like he might be the most likely to get a little Democrat support, as well,” said O’Rourke. “Recent overtures to Obama seem to have rankled some on the self-righteous right – which, to me, is a further demonstration he might be at least a little more interested in doing the right thing and not following party lines.”

O’Rourke, who considers himself a moderate  Republican, believes the party will back Rubio.

“My money, though, is [on] Rubio,” said O’Rourke. “Republicans are desperate to siphon off Hispanic vote at all costs. Not saying I would not support him, but I admit I do not know much about him at this point.”

Text Only
  • rf-skydiver-tomahawk.jpg Former resident tapped for national skydiving award

    A man known locally for putting Tahlequah on the international map by bringing world-class skydiving events to town is being inducted in the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in October.
    Norman Heaton said he’s very honored to be selected for the prestigious award given to people who have made significant contributions to the sport of skydiving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20th-Amendment.jpg Inauguration day changed by 20th Amendment

    Sometimes an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution that is uncontroversial and virtually unlitigated.
    Such is the 20th Amendment, which moved the seating of the new Congress and the presidential inauguration day to January, and enumerates procedure if a president-elect dies or cannot take office.
    Because the “Lame-Duck Amendment” addresses procedure, it is long.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-School-Fashion.jpg Fashion show to feature local teachers

    A fun fashion event that will provide funds for one lucky area school is coming up next weekend.
    Local teachers and students have until Tuesday, July 22, to sign up for the Teacher and Student Back 2 School Fashion Show at Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-actress.jpg TV’s ‘Mistresses’ has second local tie

    Tahlequah has at least two ties to the TV drama “Mistresses.”
    Local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon designed the flower arrangements for the show’s season finale, and Arriane Alexander, daughter of local resident Sharilyn Young, is portraying a television news reporter.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Stark-Sequoyah.jpg Stark enjoys making a difference

    Kristin Stark, Sequoyah Elementary Teacher of Year, loves teaching, and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.
    “I love making a difference in the lives of children; it is a wonderful feeling to make a positive impact on a child,” said Stark.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sr-19thAmendment.jpg Women got the vote with 19th Amendment

    During its first 140 years, the United States Constitution underwent a series of changes intended to extend voting rights to those who were not white or didn’t own property - but as the American experiment entered the 20th Century, half the adult population still had no protection to vote.
    Though they certainly had political opinions, women could not cast a ballot in most states. That changed with passage of the 19th Amendment.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • renee-storyteller.jpg Cherokee, Tlingit storytellers to share their craft during special NSU event

    Two Native American cultures will be represented during a storytelling workshop featuring Cherokee Gayle Ross and Tlingit and Cherokee dancer and storyteller Gene Tagaban, of Seattle.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1-ts CN opt 1.jpg Cherokees commemorate Act of Union

    Cherokee Nation dignitaries met on the historic courthouse square Tuesday to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Act of Union following the end of the Trail of Tears Removal.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-vol-July.jpg Firefighting fills a big role for Kimble

    Community service is both work and volunteering for Cherokee County 911 Coordinator/Director Marty A. Kimble.
    Kimble is also fire chief for Gideon Volunteer Fire and Rescue, president of the Grand View School Board, and northeast regional vice president of OklaNENA (National Emergency Number Association).

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-artist-July-2.jpg Fulk discovered art talent after retirement

    It’s not unusual for retired folks to turn their hand to the arts. Count George Fulk among that number.
    The former optometry professor at Northeastern State University and bird-watching enthusiast has found he also has a talent for watercolor painting.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman