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Gov. Mary Fallin launches re-election campaign

TULSA — Gov. Mary Fallin, a force in Republican Party politics for more than two decades and Oklahoma's first female governor, formally launched her bid Thursday for a second term in office.

By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS, AP Published: October 17, 2013

TULSA — Gov. Mary Fallin, a force in Republican Party politics for more than two decades and Oklahoma's first female governor, formally launched her bid Thursday for a second term in office.

Fallin kicked off her re-election campaign at the Old School Bagel Cafe in Tulsa on Thursday morning, with stops planned later in the day at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City and the Museum of the Great Plains in Lawton.

Fallin's announcement came as no surprise; she raised about $550,000 during the second quarter and had more than $970,000 in her campaign fund by the end of June.

Fallin served two terms in the state House before being elected as the state's first Republican and first female lieutenant governor in 1994. She served three terms before winning a U.S. House seat in 2006. She ran for Oklahoma's open governor's seat in 2010.

That race was sure to result in the smashing of a gender barrier when she faced Democratic nominee and then-Lt. Gov. Jari Askins. With the help of a conservative tide that year in which Republicans took every Democrat-held statewide elected office in Oklahoma, Fallin won with more than 60 percent of the vote and became Oklahoma's first female governor.

Fallin campaigned on creating the best business climate possible and streamlining state government, and has followed through on both of those campaign pledges to some degree. She has signed bills to overhaul both the state's workers' compensation and civil justice systems, and to consolidate several state agencies under the administration of the newly named Office of Management and Enterprise Services.

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