Hope springs eternal for Democrats running for state-wide office in very red confines. Such is the case for Drew Edmondson, a former state attorney general, who has announced he will run for governor in Oklahoma.
The Edmondson name is familiar to many in the state. His father, Ed, was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and uncle J. Howard Edmondson was Oklahoma’s 16th governor and a U.S. senator.
Edmondson, a Democrat, served four terms as Oklahoma’s attorney general and seemed to have capped off his political career with an unsuccessful bid for governor in 2010. But then last year, Edmondson led a successful campaign against the Right to Farm State Question 777, a constitutional amendment that could have blocked virtually any new agriculture regulations.
Profile raised, hat in the ring.
Other Democrats who have indicated they will seek their party’s nomination for governor in the 2018 primary are Minority Leader Scott Inman and former state Sen. Connie Johnson.
GOP candidates, actual and potential, include Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb (not yet announced). State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones is still thinking about it.
Republican Gov. Mary Fallin is term limited.
The bad news for Democrats is that Trump took Oklahoma by a 65-29 margin. The good news is that Fallin “only” won her second term in 2014 by a 56-41 margin, in what was nationally a very good year for Republicans. Having said that, Fallin first won as governor in 2010 by 20 points.
Oklahoma seems kinder to Democrats at the local level, but it will still be tough to put this one in the win column. We should probably add, though, that volatility in the age of Trump makes anything possible.