Stillwater state senator spurred by slim victory margin to raise money - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Stillwater state senator spurred by slim victory margin to raise money


TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A slim margin of victory has driven a Stillwater state senator to raise the most money among legislative candidates this election.

Sen. Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater, has received at least $225,383 since filling for re-election in 1998. Voters elected the former municipal judge in 1996 by a margin of 32 votes out of 26,000 cast.

``Money is so critical to a campaign and we just had to get busy,'' Morgan said. ``That's probably what drives me is I'd like to have a little less close of a margin.''

Morgan and Republican Rodger Ensign, who has raised $27,367, are among 291 candidates for state offices who have raised a combined $8.5 million for Tuesday's election, according to records. Of that figure, candidates reported spending a little more than $6 million, the Tulsa World reported.

Candidates vying for county offices statewide have raised a combined $1.8 million. Leading the pack are Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel, who has raised $196,105, and Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz, who has raised $68,471.

Democratic state Sen. Ben Robinson has raised $128,827, compared to challenger Tommy Anderson, a Republican who has raised $12,659.

State Sen. Penny Williams, D-Tulsa, has raised $114,730, compared to her Republican challenger, Assistant District Attorney Paul Wilkening, who has raised $65,916.

In th House, Democratic state Rep. Larry Adair of District 86, has raised $150,558, while his Republican challenger, Russell Turner, has raised $6,623. And Democratic state Rep. Larry Rice has received $99,172 in donations, compared to $970 in contributions to Republican opponent Paul Hollrah.

The figures do not include last-minute contributions, which have been coming into campaigns in recent days. The Oklahoma Ethics Commission reports that late donations of $500 or more that have come in since Oct. 24 totaled $450,286.08 as of Friday.

Chandler Republican Kent Friskup, who is running for House District 32, an open seat that includes parts of Lincoln and Creek counties, has received $17,225, the largest amount of late contributions, records show.

He is running against Democrat Danny Morgan, who has received $3,000, including a $1,000 donation from Molly Boren, the wife of University of Oklahoma President David Boren. In all, Morgan has raised $55,061, to Friskup's $36,267.

Other late contributions included $14,300 for Democrat Sean Voskuhl of Marshall, who is running against incumbent Republican Robert Milacek of Waukomis in Senate District 19. Republican Dub Whalen of Oklahoma City has received $12,275 in his bid to unseat Rep. Al Lindley, D-Oklahoma City, in House District 93.

Top late contributors include the National Republican Congressional Committee, $44,528 to the Oklahoma Republican Party; DRIVE, the political action committee of Teamsters Local 523, which gave $29,900 to several Democratic candidates, and the New Oklahoma, Gov. Frank Keating's PAC, which gave $32,250 to Republican candidates.

Several executives with Conoco Oil contributed to Keating's PAC, records show. Keating and Conoco officials went on a fishing trip to Alaska earlier this year, which resulted in an Ethics Commission complaint that failed to report the trip as a contribution, the Tulsa World reported.

Steve Edwards, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, said the last-minute contributions are important because they allow candidates to fund their last push in television and radio commercials as well as mail-outs.

People are donating a lot of money to GOP candidates because there is little support in Oklahoma for Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore and because people ``are sick and tired of the scandals athat crop up in Oklahoma City _ they know who to blame.''

Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Mike Mass said he isn't surprised by the last-minute contributions.

``Republicans have always had a lot of money and that is part of the difference between the two parties,'' Mass said.

``Organized labor has always been a friend of the Democratic Party. We have many Democrats who don't support the labor movement but they still support the party that they feel helps the labor movement.''

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103 is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.