Legislature Loses Conservative Champion in David Brumbaugh
By: Constitution Staff
Oklahomans are mourning the passing of State Rep. David Brumbuagh (R-Broken Arrow), one of the great conservative champions in the Oklahoma Legislature, a devout Christian, and dedicated family man.
Brumbaugh had a cumulative Oklahoma Conservative Index score of 93 percent, and had scored a perfect 100 percent rating for four years in a row. At the time of his passing, he was the chairman of the Republican House Caucus, and vice-chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on General Government.
First elected in 2010 to represent parts of Broken Arrow and Tulsa in the Oklahoma House, Brumbaugh was more than just a vote in the Legislature. He was a conservative leader, a man of principle, and a person who had a much deeper understanding of the proper philosophy of free enterprise, limited government, and constitutionalism.
Retired State Rep. Paul Wesselhoft (R-Moore) summed up the feelings of many conservatives in and out of the Legislature, who were familiar with Brumbaugh. “David was my good friend, but everyone’s good friend! I will sadly miss him. He was one of the faithful few legislators the public could always count on to champion conservative bills and policies. His absence will create a political vacuum.”
Governor Mary Fallin said, “Representative Brumbaugh was a fair and dedicated public servant. He was a hard-working member of the House of Representatives. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.”
Even those who in the other party had high admiration for him. State Representative Scott Inman of Del City, the leader of the Democrats in the House, noted, “While we didn’t agree on a variety of issues, he was always respectful and sincere in his beliefs, and his dealings with my caucus and me.”
It is not surprising that he won several awards for his conservative scores and leadership, including his receiving the Overall Conservative Award from Charlie Meadows, the founder and long-time president of the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee (OCPAC). OCPAC also named Brumbaugh the conservative legislator of the year in 2016 in the House of Representatives. Very popular with the grass-roots activists, he was named a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
The Oklahoma Association of Realtors named him their legislator of the year in 2015, while Eagle Forum gave him its 2015 National Council Award. He was also honored by the Oklahoma Council for Public Affairs (OCPA).
The week prior to his sudden death on April 15th, Brumbaugh had pushed out of House Committee SB 393, the “Oklahoma Science Education Act.” The bill was designed so that “Teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories.” The bill is intended to allow teachers to expose the scientific weaknesses of the Darwinian theory of evolution, and allow it to be taught in its proper context as a theory, not as a scientific fact.
Other legislation he had championed included the Urban Renewal Transparency Act. This legislation required additional notice and hearings before local governments can take private property, invoking eminent domain. He also authored a bill that protects ordained religious officials from performing any marriage which violates either their conscience or religious beliefs.
Prior to his service in the Oklahoma House, Brumbaugh served his country in the 101st Airborne of the U.S. Army. Born in Pennsylvania, he received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Belmont Abbey College (where he also had a minor in Theology). Later, he earned a master’s in business administration at Pacific Western University in Hawaii.
Brumbaugh was owner and president of DRB Industries, a provider of gas turbine filtering and cooling system products for the electric power industry. He left behind a wife, Shelley, and two daughters, Abigail and Hannah.
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