By Patrick B. McGuigan ǀ CapitolBeatOK
OKLAHOMA CITY — In the competitive Republican primary for Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District, state Rep. George Faught may have the best shot at catching frontrunner Markwayne Mullin and forcing his way into the Aug. 28 runoff.
In a six-candidate race it is hard to discern there is an edge for anyone.
Mullin has money, Dakota Wood, a Marine Corps veteran, has a compelling biography, and Wayne Pettigrew served effectively in the state House. The remaining Republican candidates, Dustin Rowe and Dwayne Thompson, also have discernable support.
Yet, in the midst of all this, Faught has late momentum. Mullin has mounting debt and a former employee whose 2009 arrest has evoked an eastern Oklahoma version of “Fast and Furious” speculation.
The Federal Election Commission data for the second quarter show Faught has raised $376,359.68, with 70 percent of that coming from residents of the district. He had enough cash on hand to finance his late surge of paid advertising.
This week, he launched a new television advertisement airing on stations scattered around the sprawling district. The theme of a new spot is Faught’s voting record and legislative service — fighting “ObamaCare,” the health exchange, pressing for a balanced budget and pushing fiscal responsibility.
Faught also has the endorsement of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a well-known conservative leader and a familiar face to Oklahomans in the district, which borders the Land of Opportunity.