Longtime Republican Donors Reportedly Felt Snubbed At Inaugural Ball
Rusty Surette, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Following Gov. Mary Fallin's inauguration, the historic day continued into the night with the Governor's Inaugural Ball at The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. However, organizers said due to limited space, they couldn't fit in everyone who wanted to attend, which left some longtime donors and supporters reportedly unhappy.
It was a historic night for the state as Oklahoma's first female governor made a grand entrance, wearing a dress made by Norman designer Sheri Hill. Following the introductions was an appearance by Oklahoma's own Anita Bryant to sing the National Anthem.
The event could be considered a who's who gathering of nearly 2,000 people but not everyone who wanted to be there was there.
"There's concern among major Republican donors that they were excluded from this Inaugural Ball because of corporate interests getting the tables in advance," said Andrew Griffin, Reddirtreport.com editor.
In Griffin's most recent report on the online publication Red Dirt Report, he talked to several anonymous supports who said they felt left out despite years of support.
But a spokesman for Governor Fallin released a statement regarding the matter.
"We made every effort to seat the maximum number of people we could, and in the last few weeks the inaugural committee added several tables to the Oklahoma City ball to allow hundreds more guests to come."
Griffin said one supporter simply wished Fallin would have chosen a bigger venue for tonight's ball.
"She thinks it's going to hurt Mary Fallin in the future because when she comes around in the next 18 to 24 months and starts preparing for her reelection, people are going to say, 'I gave you last time but I was excluded from the inaugural ball. Is it going to be the same way this time around?'" Griffin said.
Monday night's event was paid for by private donations. Tickets went for $125 per person.
Prior to Monday night's event, there were two other Pre-Inaugural Balls, including one in Jenks and another in Ponca City.