MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

February 3, 2012

Loan puts Herriman atop Dem rival in 2nd District fundraising

— Two Democrats seeking the party’s nomination for the 2nd District seat in Congress filed their first campaign finance reports this week.

Wayne Herriman, a seed merchant in Muskogee and Collinsville, reported contributions totaling $227,270 during the fourth quarter of 2011. More than 85 percent of that, $195,000, was from a candidate-backed loan.

Rob Wallace, a former federal prosecutor from Fort Gibson, reported fourth-quarter contributions of $107,495, including a $20,000 loan. Wallace said Thursday that represented about a month of active fundraising.

“We didn’t really get ramped up until the first of December,” he said. “We’re really excited about the momentum, and we believe we are on track for a good launch in the new year.”

Wallace said he was getting a lot of encouragement from the people he has been visiting with in the 2nd District and across the state. Many “are fed up with the fighting and juvenile bickering going on in Washington,” he said.

“As a federal prosecutor, I’ve worked in a world where things are right and wrong, not right or left,” Wallace said. “I think people are ready for that kind of eastern Oklahoma common sense in Washington.”

Wallace, whose campaign was identified by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as an “emerging race,” also reported two $5,000 contributions from the Blue Dog political action committee. With expenditures of $17,234 in the fourth quarter, Wallace ended the year with $90,260 cash on hand.

Herriman, who was unavailable for comment Thursday, reported expenditures of $14,243 during the fourth quarter, leaving his campaign with $213,026 at year’s end.

The 2nd District post is coming open with the announcement in June by U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, who has held the post since his election in 2004, that he would not seek a fifth term.

The district consists of all or parts of 24 counties in eastern Oklahoma,   from Kansas to Texas. The district is predominantly Democratic but has voted Republican in the past three presidential elections.

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or dsmoot@muskogeephoenix.com.

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