A Democratic state representative from Rush Springs says he plans to start raising money for a race against Republican Gov. Mary Fallin in 2014.
State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) set the stage Tuesday for what he portrayed on one hand as only a possible run for governor. But he said he was confident he would seek the Democratic nomination for the state’s highest elected post.
“I feel good about the odds with the exploratory committee,” Dorman told reporters after he filed a statement of organization with the Ethics Commission “I am looking forward to listening to Oklahomans over the next period of time, before session especially, while I have time to get out and visit with individuals before our work begins here at the Capitol.”
Dorman is the second Democrat to throw his hat into the ring to challenge incumbent Gov. Mary Fallin, who announced her reelection bid in October. R.J. Harris, of Norman, filed paperwork with the Ethics Commission in early November to raise money for a gubernatorial campaign on the Democratic ticket.
Harris ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, first as a Republican and then as an independent. He also ran for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination in the 2012 election.
Dorman said it was his experiences working across the state on the Take Shelter Oklahoma initiative petition that contributed to his decision.
“Many citizens approached me about how disappointed they are about the way things are running in state government right now,” Dorman said. “I’ve done a lot of soul searching the last few weeks, visited with my family, and I decided to I wanted to form the exploratory committee to look at this and see if it’s right way to go.”
The 43-year-old Democrat is term limited. He says he was motivated to run after he helped launch a statewide campaign for a $500 million bond issue to pay for storm shelters in schools. Dorman says he plans to make education funding a top priority in a potential race against Fallin.
Dorman was a state House staffer who won his House District 65 in southwest Oklahoma in 2002.