Edmondson endorsement boosts Askins’ campaign

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 04-Aug-2010

Reiterating a theme he espoused on primary election night, Attorney General Drew Edmondson last weekend issued a strong endorsement for Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, the Oklahoma Democratic party’s gubernatorial nominee in the November election. 

Edmondson stressed: “I hope I made it crystal clear Tuesday night, and if there’s any question I’ll make it crystal clear again, the campaign is over, I support Jari Askins without reservation, and I will do everything I can to get her elected governor of Oklahoma. We have got to elect Jari Askins Governor of this state, no question about it.”

In a motivational and passionate speech, Edmondson echoed the Askins’ primary campaign emphasis on the lieutenant governor’s career resume.

“I am truly proud to stand in front of you as your candidate for Governor,” Askins said as she thanked voters and Edmondson for their support “It takes every one of us, but together, we can make this happen. The results of this primary election should be used as an example in every civics class that every vote counts.”

The Democratic primary was among the closest in state history. This week, after state officials completed review of some 295 provisional ballots, Askins netted another 20 votes, while Edmondson gained 10. She finished with 132,591 to his 131,097.

Askins credited the campaign as well as her past political experience as the deciding factors in her win. She told the crowd of party faithful, “I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Edmondson family.” Edmondson has told reporters he will be leaving public office after his term ends in January.

What became an Askins campaign rally was combined with the party’s 2010 “homecoming” and activists hall of fame ceremony. Saturday’s event was planned long before the primary election. Both candidates had pledged to attend before the July 27 primary election.

State and local Democratic party members made appearances at the event to stress unity for the race to November. Hall of Fame honorees included Jack Boyte, Miller Newman, Charlie & Juanita King, Troy Green, Tommie Lou Levi and Rev. Dr. John A. Reed Jr.

State Rep. Joe Dorman of Rush Springs provided watermelon for the event. Former state Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth served as master of ceremonies for the event.

State Democratic party chairman Todd Goodman was fired up after the “homecoming” wrapped up. In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, he described the Edmondson boost to Askins as “a bold new direction for the Oklahoma Democratic Party.”

Goodman expressed appreciation for the work of attendees and party volunteers “in helping to elect Democrats from the Governor’s office to County Commissioner.” He promised to work tirelessly “to build on Saturday’s endorsement.”

The weather was hot and dry, leading chairman Goodman to encourage attendees to dress in cool clothing and drink plenty of water. The event was held at the Oklahoma City Zoo’s “wildcat pavilion.”

NOTE: Robin D-Townsend of The City Sentinel, a weekly newspaper in Oklahoma City, contributed to this report, and took the photograph of former Corporation Commisisoner Jim Roth, Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmondson.