Bridenstine defeats Olson in U.S. House Dist. 1 race
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
11/07/12 at 3:40 AM
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Whatever doubts there may have been about 1st Congressional District Republicans uniting behind upstart Jim Bridenstine were quickly put to rest on Tuesday. Bridenstine, who defeated five-term incumbent John Sullivan in the June primary, rolled up a 2-to-1 margin over Democrat John Olson to keep the seat in Republican hands.
"Those (doubts) were dissolved pretty quickly when John Sullivan came out and supported me after the primary and did it quickly and in a big way," said Bridenstine. "After that, all the Republicans got behind me."
Bridenstine started with a big advantage in voter registrations and history - the 1st District hasn't elected a Democrat since 1984 - but Olson was able to raise a respectable amount of money and fire up the Democratic base with his steadfast support of Obamacare and tax increases for the rich.
But even fired up, that base wasn't enough for Olson to threaten Bridenstine in the end.
"Not really," Bridenstine said when asked if he ever thought the race was close. "We did a poll early on that showed me with a big lead, but there were a lot of undecideds. All of those ultimately broke for me."
Independent Craig Allen, who ran in the Republican primary two years ago, finished third.
The campaign was unusual in that Bridenstine, the frontrunner, had no professional campaign adviser after the primary. For the most part, it was him, campaign manager Gabe Sherman - who has a marketing and public relations background - and several others, many of whom were volunteers.
"I put together a team of people I trusted," Bridenstine said. "I'm so grateful for so many people who worked so hard for me from the beginning.
"This was a real grass-roots organization."
317 of 327 precincts - 97%
x-Jim Bridenstine (R) 178,017 64%
John Olson (D) 89,688 32%
Craig Allen (I) 12,530 4%
Original Print Headline: Bridenstine victorious
Randy Krehbiel 918-581-8365
Jim Bridenstine gives his victory speech at the Republican watch party at Cityplex Towers on Tuesday night. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
John Olson: His fired-up base wasn't enough for him to threaten Bridenstine in the end