Edmondson considers run for Okla. governor

Chris Rizo Aug. 14, 2008, 11:18am

W.A. Drew Edmondson (D)

OKLAHOMA CITY (Legal Newsline) - Oklahoma Attorney General W.A. Drew Edmondson has said he is considering running to replace Gov. Brad Henry, who is barred by term limits from seeking another term.

In an interview with the Tulsa (Okla.) World, the four-term Democratic attorney general said he is "leaning more and more" towards a run in 2010.

Edmondson, 61, has about $300,000 in his 2010 re-election coffers. He could use that money to help bankroll a gubernatorial run instead.

Other potential candidates for the Democratic nomination include Lt. Governor Jari Askins and state Treasurer Scott Meacham. On the Republican side, U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin is often mentioned as a possible contender for the GOP nomination.

Edmondson was elected attorney general in 1994 and won re-election in 1998, 2002 and 2006. H won more than 60 percent of the vote in his last two elections.

He has gained national attention for a lawsuit he filed against large-scale poultry farms in 2005. He claims the companies have contaminated Oklahoma waterways by allowing tons of poultry waste to flow into the Illinois River watershed.

In an interview earlier this month with Legal Newsline, Edmondson said the lawsuit could break the companies if they choose not to settle with the state.

"I would expect that the damage model that we create showing what is actually happened in the watershed will be beyond the reach of the companies," he told LNL. "It's going to be far more significant than the resources that are available even though it's a multi-billion dollar industry."

The case is set to go to trial in Sept. 2009.

"That date is pretty firm," he told the Tulsa World. "That would still be a full year before a 2010 election. I am confident that it will be resolved prior to a race."

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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