Race for Governor's Office Continues

Monday, March 2nd 2009, 5:50 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The election is still 20 months away, and yet the 2010 race for Oklahoma Governor is already beginning to take shape.

It got a lot more interesting this weekend, as 5th district Congresswoman Mary Fallin made it official -- she's in.

The last time the 5th district seat was up for grabs, in 2006, the primary was very competitive and 2010 is shaping up, perhaps, to be a bigger free-for-all than we've seen in a long time.

We already knew the Lieutenant Governor's race would be wide open, with the current Lt. Governor, Jari Askins, running for Governor.

"I'm running for governor, anticipating that it will be a tough time and that leadership that has a variety of experience is what's going to be necessary for the state," Askins said.

Now we know, if Askins becomes the Democratic nominee, her Republican opponent could be her predecessor, Mary Fallin, who believes her experience is what the state needs right now.

"Well, during these challenging times I feel Oklahoma needs experience and strong conservative leadership, and frankly, a new voice for our state," Fallin said.

Fallin's decision, of course, puts the 5th district Congressional seat up for grabs and there are already several people saying they might be interested in grabbing it.

Former state Representative Kevin Calvey, who also ran in 2006, local physician Dr. Johnny Roy, another 2006 candidate, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, who lost in a runoff with Fallin in 2006, isn't ruling it out and current state Representative Mike Thompson are all possible candidates.

"I have a very strong interest in it, I really do, and I really think that our country is on a wrong path right now, and I want to have the opportunity to try and get us back on the right path," Thompson said.

Republican Party chair Gary Jones says the primary will produce a strong candidate and he says there could be lots of primaries.

"We'll have an open governor's race, an open lieutenant governor's, open attorney general, open 5th district, possibly an open 4th district," Jones said.

The reason he says possibly an open 4th district is if Congressman Cole decides to join the race for Governor, or maybe go after Tom Coburn's U.S. Senate seat if he decides not to seek re-election, if that happens, we'll really see the dominoes fall.

Lt Governor Askins said she welcomes Congresswoman Fallin to the race and looks forward to seeing her out on the campaign trail.