U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn drew two Democratic opponents during Tuesday's filing and Oklahoma's first openly transgendered candidate will oppose a Republican state lawmaker who made national headlines two years ago for her comments against homosexuality.
Democratic state Sen. Jim Wilson, whose third and final term expires in 2012, filed against U.S. Rep. Dan Boren because the fellow Democrat voted against the federal health care bill. Three more candidates — two Republicans and an independent — filed for the open 5th Congressional District seat, bringing the total of candidates in that race to nine.
Candidates interested in seeking a state, federal or judicial offices or the post of district attorney have until 5 p.m. today to file at the state Capitol.
Seventy-five candidates filed Tuesday, fewer than expected and far less than the 392 filings posted Monday, the first day of filing for the various offices. Tuesday's filings were less than the 101 in 2006 and 82 in 2002, said state Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax.
"I still think we'll be in the ballpark of 600 candidates filing,” Ziriax said.
Four years ago, 594 candidates filed. So far this year, 467 filed, but one was disqualified, making the total 466.
Mark Myles, an Oklahoma City attorney making his first attempt at a political office, and frequent candidate Jim Rogers of Midwest City filed as Democrats seeking the Senate seat held by Coburn, R-Muskogee.
"Is the current health care plan the perfect answer? No, I don't think so,” Myles said. "I'm open to any and all suggestions to try to improve it. I think it can probably be improved, but I also think that with the situation that our country is in financially our hands are tied in terms of what we can do. Somebody's got to pay for it.”
Rogers won 40 percent of the vote in the 2008 U.S. Senate Democratic primary race against state Sen. Andrew Rice of Oklahoma City. He also ran for lieutenant governor in 2006, finishing last in the Democratic primary with 12.6 percent of the vote. He also ran as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate in 2004 for the seat vacated by Don Nickles. Coburn eventually won that race.
Rogers said he will continue his practice of not accepting campaign contributions.
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