Edmondson leads in cash-on-hand in Okla. governor race

Chris Rizo Feb. 2, 2010, 8:15pm

Drew Edmondson (D)

TULSA, Okla. (Legal Newsline)-Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmonson leads in fundraising in the state's gubernatorial contest this year.

Edmondson, a Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, a Republican, are running to succeed Democratic Gov. Brad Henry, who is barred by term limits from seeking reelection.

In campaign finance disclosures filed this week, Edmondson reported having $910,435 in cash-on-hand, while Fallin reported having $504,582 in cash available.

Meanwhile, Democratic Lt. Gov. Jari Askins reported having $420,568. State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, reported having $45,860 on hand.

Although Edmondson leads in fundraising, a poll last month indicated that he was trailing in the polls behind Fallin.

In the SoonerPoll.com survey, Fallin beat Edmondson 51 percent to 39 percent in a hypothetical general election matchup.

Edmondson, a four-term state attorney general, was first elected as the state's chief legal officer in 1994. He won reelection in 1998, 2002 and 2006, winning more than 60 percent of the vote in his last two elections.

He is currently in the throes of a high profile federal lawsuit against 13 large-scale poultry companies he said polluted the Illinois River Watershed. He claims the companies allowed bird waste from their facilities to flow into the 1 million-acre watershed.

More recently, Edmonson garnered national attention for his criticisms of the so-called "Cornhusker Kickback," the deal that got U.S. Senate Democrats the 60th and final vote necessary to pass a major health care bill drafted by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

He was the first Democrat to call on congressional Democratic leaders to scrap the deal, which sought to require the federal government to permanently pay the costs of Medicaid expansion in Nebraska but not in other states.

The deal was inserted into the Senate health care bill to get the support of U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who initially considered not supporting the plan.

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

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