Attorney General Drew Edmondson, who has been pondering the past six months whether to run for governor, is expected today to announce whether he will seek the post.
Edmondson has scheduled three news conferences today across the state to discuss his political plans.
Edmondson, who said in January he isn’t seeking a fifth term and was contemplating a gubernatorial bid, is holding news conferences in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and in his hometown of Muskogee. The Democrat’s first event is at the state Capitol, where he began his political career as a state representative in 1974 and he will end up at the county courthouse in Muskogee, where he was elected district attorney in 1982, 1986 and 1990.
Democrat Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and two Republicans, U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma City and state Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso, already have announced plans to run for governor in 2010. Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat in his second term, can’t seek re-election.
Campaign reports covering the first three months of this year showed Edmondson had about four times the cash on hand than Askins and Fallin, both of whom had already announced their plans to run for governor. He raised nearly $280,000 during that time period, more than Askins and Fallin combined.
Todd Goodman, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, said he anticipates Edmondson will announce he is running for governor, setting up a primary race between two popular Democrats.
“A contested primary isn’t necessarily doom and gloom,” he said. “Sometimes it can even strengthen the candidates in the party. They are two of the hardest-working public servants in the state of Oklahoma, and having them both on the campaign trail discussing the issues most important to the working men and women of Oklahoma can actually benefit the state as well as Democrats.”
Within an hour after Edmondson’s campaign announced his news conferences, Askins’ campaign sent out an e-mail announcing a new Web site, JariAskins.com. It will feature photos, YouTube videos, speeches, blog posts, news articles and Twitter feeds as Askins campaigns across the state.
- Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau