Attorney General Drew Edmondson, who hasn’t decided yet whether to run for governor, is in the early fundraising lead for the 2010 gubernatorial race. Campaign reports filed Thursday show Edmondson has about four times the cash on hand than Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, both of whom announced earlier this year they are gubernatorial candidates. Edmondson said in January he isn’t seeking a fifth term and was contemplating a gubernatorial bid. He transferred $231,792 in contributions from his previous campaign, according to his campaign report for the first quarter ending March 31. He raised $277,294 during the first quarter, giving him a total of $509,085. His report showed he spent $36,312 during the first quarter, giving him $472,774 on hand. Candidates had until midnight Thursday to file campaign reports with the state Ethics Commission.
Other candidatesAskins reported raising $115,995 in the reporting period. Her report shows she transferred $3,912 from her past campaign and spent $29,591, giving her $90,316 on hand. Fallin, R-Oklahoma City, raised $108,566 in the reporting period and spent $14,513, according to her report. She reported having $94,052 on hand. State Sen. Randy Brogdon, who announced his gubernatorial bid April 18, reported raising $22,700. He transferred $7,384 from his previous campaign and spent $325, giving him $29,759 on hand, according to his report.
What do candidates say?Edmondson, elected attorney general in 1994, said he "felt very good” about what he’s raised. "We worked hard this quarter and raised a good deal of money, far short of what we need,” he said. He expects at least $3 million will have to be raised. Encouraged by the support he’s received, Edmondson said he may move up the date when he makes a decision about next year’s race. He earlier considered making a decision in September. "One of the things we wanted to do is gauge the level of support, and we’re finding that it’s deep and strong,” he said. Askins, elected lieutenant governor in 2006, said she is pleased with her fundraising efforts. She expects she needs to raise as much as $2.5 million. The state’s sluggish economy may not have a large effect on her fundraising efforts, she said. "I’ve always had more success with small donors,” said Askins, who has formerly served as a special judge, a state representative and chairman of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board. Fallin, who served in the state House of Representatives and was elected to three terms as lieutenant governor before being elected to the 5th Congressional District, is "extremely pleased with the enthusiasm and generosity of supporters and donors from across the state,” said Denise Northrup, Fallin’s campaign manager. "We plan to build steadily on this success as Mary continues to meet with Oklahomans from all 77 counties,” Northrup said. Brogdon, R-Owasso, said he will ramp up his campaign efforts after the Legislature adjourns later this month. He said he hopes to raise more than $1 million. "Our campaign will be different than any campaign we’ve seen in this state for a long, long time,” Brogdon said. "It’s going to be a grassroots, bottom-up campaign that’s going to help drive my message out around the state.”