AG Edmondson announces run for Oklahoma governor

By Chris Rizo | Jun 10, 2009

Drew Edmondson (D)

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (Legal Newsline)-Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson announced Wednesday he is running for governor in 2010.

The attorney general said jumpstarting the Oklahoma economy and protecting the state's natural resources would be a priority for him were he elected governor.

"As attorney general, I've fought to protect Oklahomans from crime, I've stood up against special interests and I've taken on corrupt politicians," Edmondson said. "As governor, I'm going to fight just as hard to create good-paying jobs and make sure all Oklahomans have access to quality, affordable health care."

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

The attorney general joins Lt. Gov. Jari Askins in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Republicans U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma City and state Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso are also vying to succeed fellow Democrat Gov. Brad Henry, who is barred by term limits from seeking reelection.

Edmondson is in the throes of a high profile 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.

In an earlier interview with Legal Newsline, the attorney general said the poultry companies risk going broke if they don't settle before the trial, which is scheduled for September.

"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," Edmondson said. "It's going to be far more significant than the resources that are available even though it's a multibillion dollar industry."

Defendants in the lawsuit are: Tyson Foods Inc., Tyson Poultry Inc., Tyson Chicken Inc., Cobb-Vantress Inc., Cal-Maine Foods Inc., Cargill Inc., Cargill Turkey Production LLC., George's Inc., George's Farms Inc., Peterson Farms, Simmons Foods Inc., Cal-Maine Farms Inc. and Willow Brook Foods Inc.

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

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