, Muskogee, OK

February 4, 2014

Lawmaker announces candidacy for governor

Associated Press

— TULSA — Democratic state Rep. Joe Dorman announced his candidacy for Oklahoma governor Tuesday, accusing Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and some lawmakers of crafting policies designed to divide the state’s residents “along our income brackets and social status.”

“The state of Oklahoma is headed in the wrong direction under the policies of Mary Fallin,” Dorman said. “Put simply, the voters want and deserve a new and different direction.”

The Rush Springs lawmaker announced his candidacy at the Tulsa Press Club and in Oklahoma City at the Petroleum Club. He called for more modern schools with storm shelters for children and safer roads and bridges, among other things.

“These are not Republican issues or Democratic issues. These are Oklahoma issues,” Dorman said. “But to truly affect change, we have to work together.”

Dorman, who described himself as a “pro-life” Oklahoma Democrat in an interview in December, acknowledged he would face an uphill battle against Fallin but said he looked forward to such a challenge.

The latest campaign finance reports show Fallin had more than $1.6 million in her campaign war chest at the end of 2013 and enjoys a huge fundraising advantage over both her GOP primary challenger and potential Democratic rival.

Former Republican state Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso reported raising nearly $13,000 during the same period and finished the year with $30 left in his campaign account. A phone message left Tuesday for a Brogdon spokesman was not returned.

Dorman reported receiving more than $100,000 in donations during the final quarter of 2013

Alex Weintz, a spokesman for Fallin, said in a statement Tuesday that Fallin’s “vision of commonsense, conservative government and her campaign strategy are not going to change regardless of who enters the race for governor.”