AG Edmondson loses primary in governor's race

Edmondson

OKLAHOMA CITY (Legal Newsline) - Two women will face each other in the race for Oklahoma governor.

Lt. Gov. Jari Askins defeated state Attorney General Drew Edmonson in the Democratic primary on Tuesday. Askins will face Republican U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin in the Nov. 2 general election.

Askins and Edmondson each gave up relatively safe seats in an effort to keep the governor's seat in Democratic hands. Current Gov. Brad Henry cannot seek a third term.

Edmondson was recently ranked third among six states attorneys general who received criticism from the Competitive Enterprise Institute. California Attorney General Jerry Brown topped the list.

"Edmondson appears to have had no problem with accepting money from out-of-state lawyers, wealthy special interests, and even felons," the report said.

"He has violated state ethics rules and campaign laws. And he has steered lucrative government contracts to lawyers who give him donations (such as generous contingency fees for lawyers that give them up to $250 million simply for bringing copycat lawsuits that mimic pending lawsuits brought by other trial lawyers, and give the lawyers up to 50 percent of what the state recovers)."

The CEI, a group that promotes free enterprise and limited government, released its report last week. Its author, Hans Bader, wrote that the office was designed to have limited power but that is not the case anymore.

Even without having a chance to vote for herself, Fallin defeated three challengers. According to The Associated Press, Fallin flew to Washington before the polls opened Tuesday to cast a vote on a military funding bill and wasn't able to vote in Oklahoma.

A 20-year veteran of Oklahoma politics, Fallin raised more than $2.4 million for the race -- more than eight times as much as her opponent, conservative state Sen. Randy Brogdon.

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