Gillespie ‘putting faith first’ in OK Senate run
By Spencer Cox, Contributing Writer
Broken Arrow Vice Mayor Christi Gillespie left no room for ambiguity when she recently kicked off her campaign for the Oklahoma Senate.
Gillespie told friends, family and supporters the central theme of her campaign is “Christ magnified” as she runs for District 33, a seat held by Nathan Dahm since 2012.
Dahm, who is term-limited, expressed his support for Gillespie by commencing the evening with a prayer.
"This election, this campaign, and everything we do as elected officials aren't about me; it's about 'we the people.' And that's what I stand by,” Gillespie told her supporters this week at the Waters Edge Winery and Event Center.
Gillespie has had a long-standing interest in politics. In 1982, decades before becoming Vice Mayor, her mother took her to the state capital where a group of protesters were trying to stop the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) from being renewed.
“You would think ‘I'm a woman, and my Mom's a woman, why would we want to stop the ERA?” she recalled, “because in the 19th amendment, we are already given equal rights.”
During that day at the capital, the opposing side, according to Gillespie, began hurling items into the gallery and vandalizing cars in the parking lot.
“I got to see a taste of what it was, and that I knew what I believed in, and I've been interested in politics ever since.”
That same year, she received a letter from former President Ronald Reagan, which she read to her supporters.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Broken Arrow bucked the trend and did not implement a mask mandate.
“I never expected that I would have to tap into my true beliefs in the Constitution. When we were attacked, and yes, I say we were attacked by the pandemic, our city led the way in the state with no mandates,” Gillespie.
“We stayed open, which is why we had record-breaking sales tax in 2020.
Part of the revitalization Gillespie touched on was the success of the refreshed New Orleans Square. Construction began in June 2022, and according to Gillespie, the intersection was a “ghost town” prior to completion due to some major tenants that moved out.
Gillespie poked fun at the blue emblem in the center of the intersection, which has been the subject of some jeers online but embraced by others. “I don't care what people say about the blue emblem. If you fly a plane over it, you know where you are,” she said.
According to the City of Broken Arrow, the population of the market area comprising New Orleans Square is expected to grow by 10,000 people by 2028. With that growth comes business.
“That's what it's all about. It's not about the government coming in and owning you. It's about creating something. Small business owners and big business owners can come here and be successful.”
One of the accomplishments Gillespie said she’s proud of is improvements to infrastructure in Broken Arrow in recent years.
“I know you hate to see orange cones, but it means you're getting better streets, or a new sidewalk to push your family member in a wheelchair on,” she said.
Gillespie said that as a senator she wants to keep the constitutional republic to “keep going for my kids and my grandkids. I will always put my faith first and continue my fight for the sanctity of life.”
With a commitment to family values, Gillespie concluded, “We must fight to preserve the family unit in a society that chooses chaos and confusion over common sense.”