When Your Lobbyist Breaks Up With You

OAR contract lobbyist, Richard Phillips, makes an announcement to the OAR membership while filming the last Capitol Insider of 2017. Click to watch the final Capitol Insider video.

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® has been fortunate to work with Richard Phillips of Sooner Strategies as our contract lobbyist for the last several years. He and I had coffee last week as session wrapped up, and Richard informed me that he would be winding down his lobbying business so that he could focus on other projects.

While it really wasn’t awkward as the above picture portrays and was placed in here for fun, change is still hard. However, a plan is in place and we continue to move onward and upward. It was fun teasing Richard about leaving us, as the staff has really enjoyed working with him. But since he is part of the REALTOR® family, we know we will still see him around. He does have a shiny major investor pin, as he knows the importance of what we do legislatively, and once you are part of the REALTOR® family, you’re always part of it. We certainly wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.

But are you seriously breaking up with us on the same day that House of Cards Season 5 debuts on Netflix?!

I am choosing to focus on the big plans that OAR has to keep moving forward. Richard has set us up for success, and the transition will be a smooth one. Beginning the first week of June, we are sending out requests for proposals (RFPs) to potential lobbyists that are interested in working with us. The first part of July, we will begin reviewing and interviewing and by August, it is our goal to sign a new contract with a lobbyist and begin preparing for the next session. Richard is going to continue to help us make this a seamless process and will work with us through September 30, 2017. Our new lobbyist will have the same zeal for doing great things that protect the rights of home ownership in Oklahoma.

It is all going to be “more than just OK” (pun intended). If not, a House of Cards watch party will be hosted at my house every week until we figure it out.