Plunk juggled service on the city council with his responsibilities as the owner of Plunk Service Co., which manufactured camper jacks and fabricated metal. He also ran Bob’s Fast Pac in Allen and served as secretary of the Pontotoc County Election Board.
Plunk got his first taste of state politics in 1988, when he served as campaign manager for senatorial candidate Dick Wilkerson, he told The Allen Advocate in 2007. Wilkerson beat the incumbent, and people began asking Plunk if he would consider seeking a seat in the Legislature.
Plunk mounted his first legislative campaign in 1992 but fell short of victory, capturing only 49 percent of the vote, according to the Feb. 15, 2007, edition of the Advocate. Following that election, Plunk studied the issues he might face if he ran again.
Two years later, the incumbent approached Plunk and said he would not seek another term because he knew Plunk would win.
Bruce Plunk said some people might have given up their hopes of a political career after losing their first race, but not his father.
“He could have just gone back to his business and quit, but he still saw a need for rural Oklahoma and felt like he could attack that,” Bruce said. “And two years later, he made another run and was successful.
“Once in position, he held that fast for 12 years because he did do what he promised.”
‘Represent his people’
Plunk was elected in 1994 to the Oklahoma House, where he served on the Veterans Affairs, Transportation and House Rules committees. His other assignments included a stint on the Subcommittee on Appropriations for Transportation and General Government.
Former Rep. Jari Askins said she was elected to the House in 1994 — the same year as Plunk — and they spent 12 years together in the House. She said her friend devoted most of his energy to helping people find the resources they needed to solve their problems.