Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Filing Day - One and Two

Lots of action at the capitol yesterday for day one of filing, 415 candidates filed and about 200 more are expected to file either today or tomorrow. One hundred twenty-six Republicans filed with 125 Democrats filing. The others filed as Independents or filed in non-partisan judicial races.

Right now there are more press and staff standing around than there are candidates.

Yesterday the crush of candidates, on both sides, was a great lesson in civics and politics (not to be confused as one and the same.) Some of the candidates we saw included State Superintendent Sandy Garrett who filed with a group of young supporters surrounding her. We also saw House Democratic Leader Jari Askins with her mom and other supporters. Jari is one of three Democrats vying for the Lt. Governor's nomination. She has obviously been involved in recruiting some excellent Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives. Peter Regan filed his candidacy for Lt. Governor surrounded by supporters and former Governor George Nigh.

ODP vicechair Ben Odom was at the capitol yesterday afternoon when Gov. Brad Henry filed for re-election. Henry leads the top of the ticket for Democrats this year; along with our popular Atty. General Drew Edmondson and other Democratic incumbents State Auditor Jeff McMahan and State Supt. Sandy Garrett. Also heading the top of the ticket are Henry appointees Kim Holland for State Insurance Commissioner and Scott Meacham for State Treasurer.

The Oklahoma Optometric Association is giving out carrot cake donuts. You may remember that there has been an "issue" between the opthamologists and the optometrists for a couple of years regarding "scope of practice". Sandra Naifeh, the associations executive director and Edmond mayor, and yes, a Republican, said that the issue is to some degree about the differences of access to health care in rural and urban areas. I say Democrats win when we point out the differences in priorities regarding health care....we think everyone should have affordable, accessible health care --- and that we are all healthier when we all can see a doctor when we need to. Health care is definitely an issue that reaches into every home in Oklahoma. I wish the debates were more about this kind of issue than the fake issues that the Republicans create to generate fear and anger amongst voters.

The Denise Bode parade of ten just came around the corner. She's now pontificating about her strong family values and the fact that she teaches a Bible study class....absolutely the number one thing that very few voters really demand in a Congressional candidate. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just that Congress is about a lot more than faith and family values. How about running on her record as Corporation Commissioner? Oh, maybe not.

The Mary Fallin parade was here yesterday --- in the crowd of other candidates. She didn't get the full attention of the media that Bode is getting this morning.

Democrat Bert Smith filed for CD 5 early yesterday morning, assisted by his 4-year old grandson. Bert's message is strong and based on his public service as an army officer and recently as a public school teacher. I haven't seen Patricia Presley or Dr. Hunter yet. I did hear that Dr. Hunter planned to file on Wednesday because he was in DC for meetings Monday.

Talked to Alan Gentges from Bartlesville who practices law in Tulsa yesterday. He plans to challenge John Sullivan for CD 1. Good luck Alan!

Brian McLaughlin, Stigler, was one of the Democrats filing this morning for the House of Representatives. He is filing to replace Ray Miller in HD 15 who is not term-limited but made the decision to not run for re-election after the disgusting antics of the Republican leadership took a particularly cruel turn on him on the House floor this spring. An attorney, McLaughlin says he has a reputation as a fighter for the people and he's now looking for another venue to fight for the good people who live in SE Oklahoma. (Watch for other candidates in this predominantly Democratic district; bets are that the primary is the real deal in this one.)

Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland just walked in with her campaign staff. Honestly, that woman has done more to raise the level of integrity, honesty, and responsibility to that state office than anyone in recent or past history. I am particularly proud that she is a Democrat who is a tireless advocate for Oklahoma consumers and citizens. In her first year in office she recovered $11 million for consumers, an all-time record for the insurance department, for the people of Oklahoma. She is a true watchdog and the people will be well-served to elect her in November.

CD3 candidate John Coffee Harris filed yesterday, he told me the campaign is building in strength and number of supporters. I just saw Sue Barton check in a few minutes ago at the "officials" table. Yesterday she was campaigning in Altus, Hobart, Cordell and Blair. She talked to some of my favorite Democratic women in Hobart, Nellie Perry and Linda Binghom. She is also running for the Democratic nomination in the 3rd Congressional District. Haven't seen candidate Greg Wilson yet, but I heard he is filing. Greg serves on the ODP's Veterans Committee. All three have been out in the district this spring rallying supporters for the chance to challenge Frank Lucas (who filed yesterday, along with Tom Cole in the 4th CD). Barton said she's driven upwards of 5,000 miles so far throughout the 32 county district.

A young Democrat, 22-year old Cory Spocogee, from Jenks just filed for HD 69. He says he has experience working in a long-term health care facility in Tulsa and is completing his associate's degree from Tulsa Community College. He's been studying political science and history. He's not satisfied with the $50 he says seniors in Oklahoma have to live on....that's not right, he says. He'll also focus on cutting the cost of higher education so more students can attend college without acquiring massive amounts of debt. I wish more young people would take their civic duties so seriously.

It's 10:30 a.m. I need to check in at the office. Ben is on his way in to the capitol and I'm on my way to the office for a while.

Filings are posted periodically at the State Election board website http://www.elections.state.ok.us/cflist06.html. Be sure to "refresh" your page if you look at it over a period of time so you get the updates.

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