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Patrice Douglas leads money chase in crowded Oklahoma field for U.S. House seat

Oklahoma City-area congressional seat draws lots of candidates and donors; Douglas, a Republican corporation commissioner from Edmond, has twice the war chest of any other candidate.
by Chris Casteel Published: April 20, 2014

Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas raised far more money than the rest of the many candidates vying for the Oklahoma City-area congressional seat, according to campaign finance reports filed this week.

Douglas, an Edmond Republican, reported raising $404,537 from late January through March. Douglas tapped a network of donors in Edmond, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and other cities for a war chest twice as big as any other in the race.

The 5th District seat is open for the second time in four years because Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee. The district includes most of Oklahoma County and Pottawatomie and Seminole Counties.

A parade of candidates sought the seat the last time it was open, in 2010, including well-known state legislators with strong financial backing. But Lankford, a political newcomer who had run a Baptist youth camp and had relatively little money, won the seat.

This year, several current and former office holders also are running for the seat.

Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, raised nearly $178,000 for his campaign, getting donations in a few cases from some of the same people who gave to Douglas.

Former U.S. Army Ranger Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, who served a term in the state Senate, raised nearly $107,000 for his campaign. And former state Rep. Shane Jett, R-Tecumseh, raised nearly $44,000.

State Rep. Mike Turner, R-Edmond, did not file a report — and may not have been required to since he didn’t declare his federal candidacy until mid-March — but he has raised enough money to purchase television time.

The sixth Republican in the race, Harvey Sparks, of Oklahoma City, reported raising nearly $18,000. Sparks is a minister and former congressional staffer.

Democratic race

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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