OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ State Republican Party officials are downplaying former Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer's endorsement of Democrat Brad Carson.
State GOP chairman Gary Jones says the backing was expected but won't have a great impact.
Switzer endorsed Carson Thursday, calling him a good Oklahoma conservative who will work with both political parties to make Oklahoma better.
Switzer's support was considered a key factor in the victory of Democrat Brad Henry in the 2002 governor's race.
At the Capitol, some Republican officeholders say a Carson ad criticizing opponent Tom Coburn over his vote on federal aid for May third, 1999, tornado victims is a distortion and exploitation of a tragedy.