CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
With just over two weeks left until the November 2 election, Democrat Kenneth Corn launched a negative television campaign Friday against Republican Todd Lamb, as they both vie for Lt. Governor. Oklahoma County’s District Attorney, himself a Democrat, almost immediately decried the advertisement’s “implications and innuendo” as “completely false.”
Sen. Lamb, the state Senate floor leader from Edmond, said he was disappointed the race had to be marked with mudslinging and that voters will miss opportunities to really get to know the candidates.
“Oklahomans deserve to be a part of political races that put aside the twisted attacks and false accusations,” said Lamb. “My opponent has chosen to come out attacking first and ignoring both the concerns from people across the state and the facts. What makes this more saddening is that Senator Corn knows this situation personally, and knows there is absolutely no basis for this attack. In fact, he even voted for the same bill.”
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, whose actions are referenced in Corn’s advertisement, took the unprecedented move of coming forward on Friday (October 15) to clear Lamb’s name.
“The facts are Todd Lamb has never been a part of any investigation by my office or related to this matter. The advertisement’s implications and innuendo are completely false,” Prater stated.
The scandal referenced in Corn’s advertisement centers around state Rep. Randy Terrill, an Oklahoma City Republican. Also under investigation has been retiring state Sen. Debbe Leftwich, a Democrat. State Rep. Mike Christian, a south Oklahoma City Republican, came under initial scrutiny but was quickly described as not a target in the probe, which has centered around Terrill’s tactics in advancing a bill to make changes in the state Medical Examiner’s office.
In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Sen. Lamb said he cares about “important, critical issues facing our state” and stated he would not spend time “engaged in demagoguery.” In his campaign, Lamb has stressed family issues, job security for Oklahomans, and economic growth.
“Time needs to be spent listening to Oklahomans, hearing their stories and fighting for what will make our state stronger than ever. As I have said countless times on the campaign trail, Oklahoma’s best days are ahead of us, and we need to keep our focus on what we can do to move this state forward. Kenneth Corn’s negative campaign does nothing to build our state, and I think voters will recognize his lack of vision for progress when they vote,” Lamb concluded.
Recently, Corn made a crackdown on lobbyists at the state Capitol a major campaign theme.
He was quickly denounced by state Republican party Chairman Matt Pinnell for never addressing lobbyist reform previously in his 12-year career at the Legislature.
Corn, who represents the Poteau area at the Capitol, has frequently clashed with Republicans in the Senate. He was unopposed as the party’s nominee. Lamb overcame a large field, including a leading House Republican, to become the Grand Old Party’s nominee.
In the most recent SoonerPoll, Lamb had 40% support compared to 28% for Corn, with a relatively large 27% undecided. A Libertarian-leaning Independent, Richard Prawdzienski, had 5% in the survey.
NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.