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12 Oklahoma candidates look to campaigns for 2014

Some candidates for office in Oklahoma are already are looking ahead to 2014, and some like the governor and insurance commissioner have raised more than $200,000 for the race.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND Published: November 25, 2012

Doak said a Tulsa fundraiser in May with guest speaker Barry Goldwater Jr. helped launch some of those donations.

“That is an individual which a lot of folks in Oklahoma got very excited about and attended a fundraiser in Tulsa for,” Doak said. “My position related to Obamacare and standing up to the federal office of insurance which is in process right now, has played very will with insurance companies wanting a commissioner to protect state rights and protect consumers.”

State schools Superintendent Janet Barresi, who is also new to statewide office, has raised $65,000 since her campaign opened in March. Barresi didn't transfer any funds from her 2010 campaign, when she spent about $1.2 million to win the office.

Senators file early

Half of the Oklahoma Senate districts will be up for grabs in 2014.

Senators who have opened 2014 funds are: Rob Johnson, R-Yukon; Eddie Fields, R-Wynona; Bill Brown, R-Broken Arrow; Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa; and Constance Johnson, D-Forest Park.

“I would say that in the Senate, Republicans take these races extremely seriously,” said Nathan Atkins, communication director for Bingman, who has reported raising $10,000 to date. “They are talking to voters on the doorstep, out in the community at events. They're very serious about keeping in touch with their constituents.”

Bingman, the Senate president pro tem, also has carried forward $153,000 from his 2010 campaign fund, which was closed in March.

Former Sen. Jonathan Nichols, R-Norman, had launched a 2014 campaign for an undeclared office and raised $28,250 but closed the fund in September 2011.

District attorneys

District Attorney Greg Mashburn has launched his campaign fund for the District 21 seat in Cleveland, Garvin and McClain counties.

Mashburn has raised about $81,000 since he opened the fund in August 2011. He transferred in another $80,000 from his 2010 campaign fund when he took office uncontested.

“Ever since I've been elected, I've done an annual fundraiser and then that allows me to continue to raise the war chest,” Mashburn said. “I can budget better, I can prepare for the campaign better, and it doesn't put me in a bind as far as trying to run an office and campaign.”

Mashburn said even when he was unopposed he was knocking doors until candidate filing closed.

“You never know until 5 p.m. of filing day what's going to happen,” Mashburn said.

Every September, except for one since he took office in 2007, Mashburn said he's held a barbecue fundraiser asking for support.

District Attorney Richard Smothermon also has launched a campaign fund for re-election to District 23 in Pottawatomie and Lincoln counties.

Smothermon has reported $1,500 in campaign contributions to date.

Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller also has launched his campaign for re-election and has reported raising about $3,000.