Jarrin Jackson is an Oklahoma politician known for running insurgent campaigns against establishment Republicans in the state. After an early career in business, Jackson burst onto the political scene in 2016 with a primary challenge to incumbent Congressman Markwayne Mullin.
Though unsuccessful in his first attempt, Jackson continued taking on powerful figures in the Oklahoma GOP. His underdog campaigns have earned him a devoted grassroots following among conservatives seeking an anti-establishment voice.
As we explore Jackson’s background, electoral history, and policy positions, we’ll gain insight into his emergence as a prominent Tea Party-aligned politician in Oklahoma.
Early Life and Education
Jarrin Leslie Jackson was born on March 1, 1983 in Claremore, Oklahoma. He grew up in Okay, Oklahoma and graduated from Okay High School in 2001.
After high school, Jackson attended Connors State College in Warner, Oklahoma where he studied business management. He graduated in 2003 with an Associate’s degree.
Growing up in small-town Oklahoma, Jackson gained an appreciation for conservative values and rural life from an early age. This upbringing paved the way for his eventual entry into politics as an anti-establishment Republican.
After earning his Associate’s degree, Jackson enlisted in the Oklahoma Army National Guard in 2003. He was deployed to Afghanistan for one year starting in 2004.
Jackson served as a hull mechanic and truck driver in Afghanistan, gaining vital leadership experience. His time in the National Guard instilled a sense of duty and deepened his patriotism.
When he returned from active duty in 2005, Jackson continued serving in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. He was honorably discharged in 2009 after six total years of service.
Following his military service, Jackson embarked on a career in business. He worked in sales and business development for various companies between 2006 and 2013.
In 2013, Jackson started his own business – Jackson Safety Consulting & Training. As founder and CEO, he provided workplace safety consulting and training services to companies in industries like oil, gas, and construction.
Running his own successful business fueled Jackson’s interest in politics. It shaped his views on economic policy and cemented his identity as a conservative businessman.
Entry Into Politics
Jackson’s emergence as an Oklahoma conservative political figure began with his first campaign for Congress in 2016.
2016 Congressional Campaign
In 2016, Jackson launched a primary challenge against incumbent Congressman Markwayne Mullin in Oklahoma’s 2nd District. He ran to Mullin’s right as an anti-establishment conservative.
As a political newcomer, Jackson campaigned heavily on his business credentials and outsider status. His platform included repealing Obamacare, protecting gun rights, and instituting congressional term limits.
Jackson positioned himself as the true conservative in the race, painting Mullin as a D.C. insider who had betrayed his campaign promises. Though he lost the primary 36% to 64%, Jackson exceeded expectations and established himself as a rising Tea Party voice.
2018 Congressional Campaign
In 2018, Jackson once again challenged Mullin in the Republican primary for Oklahoma’s 2nd District seat.
Tapping into grassroots conservative anger at the Republican establishment, Jackson turned his second attempt into a more formidable campaign. He attacked Mullin as a pawn of special interests who was out of touch with the district.
With a bigger war chest and better name recognition, Jackson improved his performance but still came up short. He lost the 2018 primary to Mullin by a margin of 25% to 54%, failing to force a runoff.
Though he lost again, Jackson’s repeated primary challenges intensified the rivalry between the Tea Party and establishment wings of the Oklahoma GOP. His back-to-back campaigns cemented his brand as an anti-status quo conservative firebrand.
2022 State Senate Campaign
After two unsuccessful congressional runs, Jackson set his sights on a seat in the Oklahoma State Senate in 2022.
He entered the race for Senate District 2, which came open after the incumbent opted against re-election. Facing a crowded Republican primary, Jackson once again campaigned as the quintessential anti-establishment candidate.
Jackson ultimately finished second with 34% of the vote behind Ally Seifried’s 32%, forcing a head-to-head runoff. In the runoff election, Seifried defeated Jackson decisively by over 7 points.
Jackson’s loss showed the limitations of running as an ideologically pure anti-establishment figure, especially in a low-turnout runoff election. Still, the former congressional candidate succeeded in consolidating the populist lane and flexing his conservative grassroots support.
Throughout his insurgent campaigns, Jackson has carved out a reputation as an unwavering conservative adhering to Tea Party principles. Let’s examine his stances on key issues:
Jackson advocates for free market economics centered on tax cuts, deregulation, and reduced government spending. He supports policies like:
- Permanently extending the Trump tax cuts
- Cutting regulations on small businesses
- Balancing the federal budget via spending cuts
- Opposing bailouts for Wall Street and other companies
His time as a business owner shaped Jackson’s belief in limited government intervention in the economy. He rails against crony capitalism and corporate welfare programs.
Jackson staunchly opposes the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. He supports repealing and replacing it with a free market-based system.
Specifically, Jackson wants to enable the interstate sale of health insurance and expand access to Health Savings Accounts. He believes healthcare decisions should be left to patients and doctors, not the government.
Jackson also opposes Medicare for All and other single-payer proposals. He believes these would restrict consumer choice and balloon the national debt.
As a devout Christian conservative, Jackson takes traditional stances on most social issues.
He is pro-life and has called for prohibiting abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy. Jackson also supports religious freedom laws and preserving tax exemptions for churches and nonprofits.
On LGBTQ issues, he supports the right of businesses to refuse service based on religious objections. Jackson opposes same-sex marriage and believes bathroom usage should correspond to biological sex at birth.
Jackson is also a strong defender of gun rights. He has earned A+ ratings from the NRA and worked to expand concealed carry access in his state.
In foreign affairs, Jackson advocates for an “America First” approach avoiding military intervention abroad. He opposed U.S. involvement in regime change wars during the Bush and Obama administrations.
Jackson wants to restrict immigration from countries with terrorist activity. He believes in prioritizing border security, opposing sanctuary cities, and mandatory E-Verify for employers.
Overall, Jackson takes an insular, nationalist view on foreign policy issues. He focuses on strengthening America domestically rather than exerting its influence globally.
Beyond his political career, what’s Jarrin Jackson’s personal background? Let’s learn about his family, faith, and other details.
Jackson resides in Claremore, Oklahoma with his wife Aubrey and their four children. He continues operating his safety consulting business based in the Claremore area.
With his home base in the heart of Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District, Jackson emphasizes his local roots and connections to the community. His family has enabled him to lead campaigns focused on Oklahoma values.
Faith plays a central role in Jackson’s worldview. He identifies as a devout Baptist and often references Biblical principles in his messaging.
Jackson’s campaign website and literature highlight his background teaching Sunday School. His policy stances align with tenets of the Christian right on issues like abortion and religious liberty.
Jackson’s faith has been an asset in appealing to the substantial Evangelical population across rural Oklahoma. It has helped distinguish him as a cultural conservative.
In three spirited electoral campaigns, Jarrin Jackson established himself as a prominent Tea Party conservative figure in Oklahoma politics. He rose from an underdog primary challenger to a recognized grassroots leader in the state’s Republican Party.
While unsuccessful so far in gaining elected office, Jackson’s unapologetic brand of anti-establishment conservatism has struck a chord among the populist right. His constant battles with prominent GOP figures, including Congressman Markwayne Mullin, intensified factional tensions within the party.
Moving forward, Jackson seems likely to remain an outspoken player in Oklahoma’s conservative political sphere. Though the Tea Party wave has faded nationally, he represents its lingering influence among factions of the Republican base.
Jackson’s idealist conservative persona inspires the grassroots. But expanding beyond that niche to win higher-level office would require tacking towards the center. For now, he appears content with his role as a conservative warrior battling the status quo.
What is Jarrin Jackson best known for?
Jarrin Jackson is best known for repeatedly running insurgent campaigns against establishment Republicans in Oklahoma as a Tea Party conservative. He challenged incumbent Congressman Markwayne Mullin in two primaries and also ran unsuccessfully for state senate.
What congressional seats did Jackson run for?
Jackson ran in the Republican primaries for Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District in 2016 and 2018. He lost both times to incumbent Congressman Markwayne Mullin.
How did Jackson do in his 2022 state senate campaign?
In 2022, Jackson ran for Oklahoma’s 2nd State Senate District. He finished second in the Republican primary behind Ally Seifried, then lost the head-to-head runoff election by over 7 points.
What are some of Jackson’s key policy stances?
Jackson takes staunchly conservative positions on issues like opposing abortion rights, protecting gun rights, repealing Obamacare, cutting taxes and regulations, and restricting immigration.
What is Jackson’s background before entering politics?
Jackson served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard, including a tour in Afghanistan. He later started a workplace safety consulting business serving the oil, gas and construction industries.