OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin on Tuesday became the second Republican state officeholder to announce she is running for the 5th Congressional District post Republican Ernest Istook is leaving to run for governor.
Fallin, a three-term lieutenant governor, joins Corporation Commissioner Denise Bode[pictured right] in the GOP race. She kicked off her campaign with a morning announcement in Oklahoma City and had press conferences scheduled in Tecumseh, Shawnee and Seminole.
A former state House member from Oklahoma City, Fallin became the first Republican to be elected lieutenant governor in 1994. She has been re-elected twice.
"I know the heart and soul of the district and its people -- it's where I grew up," Fallin said. "It's where I raised my family and it will always be my home. I believe those are important factors to consider when you vote for the person to send you to Congress."
Fallin said her agenda in Congress will be guided by three basic principals. "Make no mistake. I am a person who believes in faith, family and freedom. That's what I'll speak out for in Congress and that's how I'll vote."
During her tenure as lieutenant governor, she has been a strong advocate of workers' compensation reform and used her position as president of the Senate to force a vote on the right-to-work issue.
She is a single mother with two children.
A graduate of Oklahoma State University, she is a native of Tecumseh, where both her father and mother served as mayor.
Former Democratic Lt. Gov. Jack Mildren also has said he may run for the post, and Jim Meyer, Oklahoma City businessman, is looking at the race.
Other Republicans considered as possible candidates include state Rep. Kevin Calvey and Ryan Leonard, an Oklahoma City attorney.