BY JOE DORMAN
When I announced my intent to run for governor of the Great State of Oklahoma, I am sure there were many out there who were a bit surprised. After all, the last time a state representative ran and was successful for the election to governor was David Boren in 1974. That did not discourage me from the task and I had an incredible experience!
Over these past 11 months, I’ve traveled across all 77 counties in Oklahoma listening to hard working folks concerned about the politics as usual. They are the main reason I decided to run for this office and they are the reason I will continue to fight for Oklahoma, whether or not I hold an official title.
I want to congratulate Gov. Mary Fallin for winning re-election and I look forward to working with her on issues in which we both agree. We have had a good history of supporting many similar policies and I am sure we will be able to find common ground on many challenges facing Oklahoma. That is what is great about our state versus the divisiveness in federal politics.
While the results didn’t come out in our favor, I know that we’ve worked to change the face of Oklahoma politics. I championed education issues as my primary discussion, and Gov. Fallin committed at different points in the campaign to agree to my calls for a teacher pay raise, elimination of some of the high stakes tests and a reversal on Common Core to a fairer state-based standard.
The governor even called my request for $35 million additional for per pupil allocations too small, so I believe that is a commitment to increase the level beyond that for the next session. These points made the hours invested and the many miles traveled worth it to know that the kids in Oklahoma will see better results.
Election Night delivered the final results across the nation and it was surprising in many ways. The numbers historically do not favor candidates in a party of a president in their second term and that certainly showed from the final numbers for many Democrats.
While my race against incumbent Gov. Fallin turned out much better than most expected, other candidates around the state and nation were caught up in a wave of strong disapproval. My final numbers ended up being 338,239 [41%] compared to Gov. Fallin receiving 460,298 [55.8%] in the unofficial results, or a difference of 122,059.
This was not bad considering I was outspent by over 3-1 from the official report currently on hand, which does not count the “dark money” spent by outside interests that cannot be traced.
I couldn’t have done this well without those of you who were willing to help and I am humbled by your support. It’s time to regroup and determine how we can keep those from all sides engaged in the political process and active in making a difference.
I was disappointed by the low number of voters and want to do my part to get more Oklahomans engaged in voting. The turnout of 824,831 for the race was the lowest in recorded history, according to the historians, and it was a combination of bad weather and little else of interest on the ballot that kept many people at home.
I have had a few people who supported me also say they were unable to vote for different reasons, and I am going to look into those issues. I authored the language for provisional ballots, the ability to cast a vote after it has been determined if it should legally count.
I want to do everything in my power to make sure every person who has the right to vote is allowed that opportunity.
We still have a lot of work to do and I will continue to fight for each and every Oklahoman.
If you wish to stay involved in the discussion with me, please let me know. I want to keep sending updates on how we can make a difference on the policies coming out of our state capitol and what can be done to prepare for the next stage of improving Oklahoma. Sign up at ok.joedorman.com to receive my policy updates and briefings. I will continue to share ways you can make a difference in Oklahoma.
– Joe Dorman of Rush Springs was the 2014 Democratic nominee for governor and is the term-limited representative for House District 65