Filing for state office, which ended June 9, found seven candidates filing for the position of Lieutenant Governor left open by the incumbent and Governor hopeful.
Current Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins is running for Governor and will subsequently be stepping down at the end of her term.
Five Republicans filed for the position however early polling numbers only include two candidates , as SoonerPoll could not foresee how many candidates would join the race. A clear leader has emerged between the two candidates that were polled, Todd Lamb received 24.1 percent of respondents support while John Wright received 17 percent.
“The talk at the capitol always placed Lamb as the presumed front-runner,” Keith Gaddie, Vice President of SoonerPoll, said. “However, Senator Lamb and Representative Wright are starting off from a similar baseline, with the initial advantage to Lamb. The question is one of who has the political resources and ability to open up a lead and consolidate the numerous undecided voters in this primary.”
SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s Public Opinion Pollster, conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 324 likely voters from May 25 – June 9, 2010. The study has a margin of error of ± 5.4 percent.
Lamb is a former Secret Service agent and aide to Gov. Frank Keating, and currently serves the 47th district in the state senate. Lamb’s campaign is focused on business retention and a commitment to promotion of tourism to the state.
Wright currently represents Broken Arrow in the state House but will be term-limited this year after serving 12 years. Wright has said that as Lieutenant Governor he would not only promote the state through tourism but also encourage individuals to improve themselves through education.
Although Lamb leads, a majority of respondents remain undecided, leaving room for Wright, or any of the other three candidates, to close the gap given the right fund-raising and campaigning decisions.
“Financial reports indicate a clear advantage, starting out, to Todd Lamb,” Gaddie said. “To overhaul him will require a substantial fund-raising and organizational effort. In a season with so many hot contests, activist and donor fatigue can make this difficult for a late-starting candidate. ”
Bernie Adler a real estate investor from Oklahoma City who hopes to be “an effective watchdog for the people,” Bill Crozier, of Hinton, who first gained attention in his campaign for school superintendent in 2006, and Paul F. Nosak of Owasso also have hopes of filling the Lt. Governor vacancy.
The one Democrat in the race, Kenneth Corn, has been actively campaigning for several months. A state Senator from Howe, Corn previously served two terms in the House of Representatives before being elected to serve as District Four’s State Senator in 2002. Faced with term limits, Corn has set his sights on the Lieutenant Governor seat where he hopes to “fill vacant store fronts” and create jobs.
One Independent has joined the race, Richard Prawdzienski, former Libertarian Party state chairman active in the American Legion, will run as an Independent since Oklahoma does not officially recognize the Libertarian party.
Once the Republican nomination is determined, Soonerpoll will begin to examine the three-cornered race for the number two position in state government.