Pastor Paul Blair, 53, of Edmond, will face two other Republican hopefuls in his bid for Senate District 41.
The district will be an open seat this year with the departure of state Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, due to term limits. Voters may recall that Blair was a 2012 Republican candidate for Senate District 41 but lost that election to Jolley.
“Our state is facing many challenges today,” Blair said. “Being born and raised in Edmond, I have seen our community and state pull together before in times of crisis with common-sense conservative solutions. I am confident that with the right kind of principled leadership, we can do the same today.”
Blair will face Jeff Tallent, 70, and Adam Pugh, 38, in the Republican primary election June 28.
Edmond Democrat Kevin McDonald, 41, the 2015-16 District Teacher of the Year, also filed for Senate District 41 last week and will face the Republican nominee Nov. 8. Edmond Libertarian Richard Prawdzienski, 68, is vying for Senate District 41.
A graduate of Oklahoma State University where he played football, Blair was known as Edmond’s “Hometown Hero” while playing for the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. He is a business entrepreneur and has been pastor of Fairview Baptist Church since 2001.
Blair said he had business opportunities in Chicago, but Edmond was always home. Blair returned to Edmond every off season to volunteer for charitable organizations such as the Nova Center, Special Olympics or helping to make the first Edmond Memorial “Swine Week” a success.
He built a successful vending business, raised a family here and said he is privileged to be called to pastor a local church.
Blair added, “As a business man, I know common-sense budgeting, what it means to make a payroll and the headaches of dealing with excessive government regulations.
“Frankly, business people laugh whenever a politician talks about creating jobs. Government doesn’t create jobs, government can only inhibit job creation with excessive taxes and regulations. We need to get government out of the way and create a business environment that allows the free market to flourish.”
Blair heads into the campaign with the support of a group of local business leaders and high-profile elected officials.
“Paul Blair is a rare and gifted American that inspires others to be the best that they can be,” Congressman Steve Russell said. “Paul quickly became a successful small businessman, pastor, community leader and defender of religious liberty who brings innovative ideas, compassion and teamwork to complete any task. Paul Blair is the conservative Republican choice for State Senator, District 41.”
“I am excited to stand with my friend Paul Blair,” says Edmond architect David Hornbeek. I am also proud of my past business partnership with him and I can attest that he is a conservative entrepreneur who knows how to run a business, balance a checkbook, pay his taxes and make a profit.
“His business experience and understanding make him a strong voice for small business at the capitol, and his personal character is beyond reproach. We need solutions and proven leadership that come from citizen statesmen like Paul Blair, who are willing to serve his constituency.”
Blair and his wife Cindy have been married for 27 years and have two sons, Joshua, 23, and Jacob, 21. Joshua will graduate from the University of Central Oklahoma in May and has been accepted to the OU School of Law. Jacob is a Sophomore at Central.