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Oklahoma Democrats continue to seek challenger to Republican Gov. Mary Fallin

Failure to field a gubernatorial candidate next year would result in the Oklahoma Democratic Party no longer being recognized as a political party. The filing period is April 9-11.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: July 31, 2013 at 10:30 pm •  Published: August 1, 2013

Collins made a trip Wednesday to Tulsa to meet with a group about recruiting a possible gubernatorial contender.

Democrats still have time to field a gubernatorial contender. The filing period is April 9-11.

Brad Henry, then a state senator from Shawnee, didn't enter the 2002 governor's race until late November 2001. He finished second in the August primary election, won the September runoff and then went on to win in November. He easily won re-election in 2006.

Collins said he is confident his party will find a gubernatorial contender. Getting at least 10 percent of the vote won't be a problem, he said.

Democrat Jim Rogers, who raised no money and got his message out by holding up signs at busy intersections in Midwest City, won 26 percent of the vote in 2010 in a bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee.

Republicans continue to make gains in the number of registered voters in Oklahoma. As of June 30, 45 percent of the state's 1.97 million registered voters were Democrats, 43 percent were Republicans and 12 percent were independents. As of Jan. 14, about 46 percent were Democrats and 42 percent were Republicans; a year earlier Democrats made up 47 percent.

Republicans have been making gains for the past 50 years in Oklahoma. The last Democratic president to carry Oklahoma was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, failed to win any of the state's 77 counties both in 2008 and in 2012; Twenty years ago, Democrats made up 63.7 percent of the registered voters.