State Rep. Joe Dorman seems to be running less against Gov. Mary Fallin than he is against a mythical opponent in the Democratic primary. His campaign rhetoric has attacked the popular Republican incumbent but is weighted down with talking points that Democrats elsewhere use to secure a nomination rather than win a general election.
Dorman, D-Rush Springs, doesn’t need to do this. It’s disappointing that he has.
A list of the state’s shortcomings that Dorman put out in launching his campaign includes many that were around when Oklahoma was under Democratic control. The legislator has impressed us in the past for being an idea guy instead of an ideologue, but he’s left that script in making partisan, class warfare-laden attacks.
The lawmaker has no statewide name recognition. Neither did then-state Sen. Brad Henry, D-Shawnee, when he beat a popular Republican congressman in the 2002 governor’s race and served eight years with distinction. But Henry came across as moderate and calm, not the firebrand that Dorman is apparently positioning himself to be.
Also of note is that Henry wasn’t trying to unseat an incumbent Republican; Frank Keating was term-limited and headed out of the Capitol. At this point, Dorman has no worries about winning the Democratic primary. So why is he focused on enthusing a base of voters who will vote for the Democrat no matter who gets the nomination?