Next year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary race shaped up Wednesday as an expensive showdown between two popular statewide elected officials.
Attorney General Drew Edmondson, who announced his intention Wednesday to run for governor in 2010, said he will need to raise between $5 million and $6 million to run a campaign for both the primary and general election races.
"It’s going to be a very expensive race,” he said.
Fellow Democrat Lt. Gov. Jari Askins said she would need to raise several million dollars for the campaign when she announced earlier this year she is seeking the post.
Two Republicans, U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma City, and state Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso, also are in the running for governor.
Edmondson, 62, had planned to wait to make an announcement until later in the year after his office’s environmental lawsuit against Arkansas poultry companies was settled.
But he said he was encouraged by the amount of enthusiasm he received as he and his wife traveled across the state in recent months. Also, his Edmondson 2010 campaign committee received more money during the first three months of this year than the combined amounts raised by Askins and Fallin during the same time period.
Edmondson hopes to succeed Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, who is in his second term and can’t seek re-election.
Edmondson served one term as a state representative in 1974 and he served three terms as district attorney from Muskogee before being elected attorney general in 1994. He said he opted against seeking a fifth term because he’s ready for new challenges.