OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Former Lt. Gov. Jack Mildren announced Tuesday that he is forming an exploratory committee to run for governor.
Mildren, an Oklahoma City businessman, is the first Democrat to file the necessary paperwork with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission to allow him to raise money for a campaign.
Mildren was elected lieutenant governor in 1990 with 61 percent of the vote and was the unsuccessful Democratic nominee in 1994, when he was defeated by Republican Frank Keating.
He was the University of Oklahoma's first wishbone quarterback and was inducted in the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. An Academic All American, Mildren played in the Game of the Century contest against Nebraska, which Oklahoma lost in 1971 by a score of 35-31.
Mildren said his son, Drew, will serve as chairman of the exploratory committee.
``I am thrilled that Drew will be active in our campaign,'' Mildren said. ``We will add additional members to a steering group over the coming months.
``I have received a significant amount of encouragement from Oklahomans across the state to enter the 2002 governor'sace and look forward to a successful campaign,'' Mildren said.
Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Largent has announced he will leave his House seat Nov. 29 to devote his time to the governor's race. Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson has said he is running as an Independent.