OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Gary Richardson, a prominent Tulsa attorney, has filed papers with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission that will allow him to raise money to run for governor as an independent in 2002.
Richardson, 60, confirmed last March that he had changed his voter registration from Republican to independent in anticipation of a possible race. On Monday, he announced formation of a fund-raising committee.
A former U.S. attorney, Richardson ran twice for Congress as a Republican, losing a close race in 1980 to the incumbent Democrat in the 2nd District.
He heads the successful Tulsa law firm that Republican Gov. Frank Keating went to work for after leaving the federal government, prior to running for governor in 1994.
As a U.S. attorney in Muskogee, Richardson successfully prosecuted former Democratic House Speaker Dan Draper on election vote fraud charges. The case was later overturned.
U.S. Rep. Steve Largent, R-Tulsa, has announced he will seek the Republican nomination and Oklahoma City area businessman Vince Orza is looking at the Democratic race, along with former Lt. Gov. Jack Mildren.