With the early favorite in the 5th Congressional District race deciding to skip the 2010 contest, state Rep. Mike Thompson continues to pick up momentum in putting together a strong fundraising team.
Fundraising is just one element in putting together a successful campaign, but a steering committee assembled by Thompson, R-Oklahoma City, certainly has a lot of clout. The final say, of course, is up to the voters and the primary is still 11 months away.
More candidates still could announce, but this week’s announcement by Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett that he will seek re-election instead of running for Congress also helps Thompson. Some of those who backed Cornett in the 2006 5th District race are supporting Thompson. Cornett did well in 2006, taking then-Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin to a runoff before Fallin won the GOP nomination and went on to victory in November.
With Fallin now running for governor in 2010, it was expected several candidates would join in the scramble to succeed her. Six Republicans and two Democrats were in the 2006 race.
So far two 2006 GOP contenders, Kevin Calvey, a former state representative, and Dr. Johnny Roy, have announced they are back in the 2010 fray. Calvey finished fourth and Roy finished last.
A political newcomer, Rick Flanigan, a Republican, says he also is running.
No Democrat has announced.
Thompson, elected to the state House in 2004, has fared well raising money so far. He earlier named Larry Nichols, David Rainbolt and Tim Duit his campaign co-chairmen.
Thursday, Thompson named former Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick and Clay Bennett, team chairman of the Oklahoma City Thunder, to his steering committee. Others are Dave Lopez, Mike McDonald, Kory Warr, James A. Pickel, Steve Edwards, Phil Parduhn, Kim McLendon, Brian Timberlake, Steve Young, Scott Fischer, Jim Duit, Pete Brown and Joe Warren.
Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau