When she announced she would be running for governor in 2010, U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin didn’t seem to have a lot of Republican primary opposition on the horizon. Only fellow Rep. Tom Cole was said to be considering the race, and Cole has not made a public comment about his political future since Fallin announced. Now at least three other possible GOP primary candidates are testing the waters — former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, state Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso and a new entry — Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson. "I’ve been toying with the idea for a few weeks,” Richardson told The Associated Press of the possibility he will run "most probably as a Republican.” Richardson, well known in eastern Oklahoma, ran for governor as an independent in 2002 and garnered 146,200 votes in the general election. He received both Republican and Democratic votes, but many believe his candidacy hurt Republican nominee Steve Largent the most and assured Democrat Brad Henry his first gubernatorial victory. Largent lost to Henry by less than 7,000 votes. Before running as an independent, Richardson was a Republican who served as a federal prosecutor in Muskogee during President Ronald Reagan’s first term and was twice the Republican nominee for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District. While Richardson will be the underdog in a gubernatorial race featuring more accomplished statewide candidates, he has the wherewithal to influence the outcome. Seven years ago, he spent more than $2 million of his own money in the primary race for governor. Lt. Gov. Jari Askins is the only candidate to publicly announce on the Democratic side, just as Fallin is the only GOP candidate to go public. Democratic state Treasurer Scott Meacham also is weighing a possible candidacy. Askins announced her candidacy Jan. 15, and Fallin acknowledged her plans in February. It is unusual in Oklahoma for major candidates to make declarations in governor’s races so early. Both Askins and Fallin say it is a new day and they felt a need to get a head start in fundraising, especially during the current economic conditions.