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Laura Boyd running for lieutenant governor

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Former state Rep. Laura Boyd, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor three years ago, said Wednesday that she will run for lieutenant governor next year.

``It is time for leadership, not sitting on the sideline,'' Boyd, a Democrat, said after she announced plans to challenge Republican Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin, who has said she will seek a third term.

``I'm very excited. I'm energized,'' Boyd said. ``I think that 2002 will be a very active election cycle around the state.''

Boyd, the first woman to run as the Democratic nominee for governor in Oklahoma, lost to Republican Gov. Frank Keating in the 1998 general election by a 505,498-to-357,552 margin.

Boyd, of Norman, said the lieutenant governor's job is the second highest executive position in Oklahoma but the office has traditionally been a ceremonial one.

``It is time for it to be substantive,'' said Boyd, 52. ``We need less pomp and circumstance and more policy.

``Now more than ever the lieutenant governor should be more focused on cutting waste than cutting ribbons,'' she said.

Boyd spent six years in the state House. She was the principal House author of the 1996 Ryan Luke Act, named for the 2-year-old McAlester boy who died from blunt head trauma while the state investigated whether he was being beaten at home.

The law changed how courts deal with children who are suspected of being abused.

Boyd said she supported more than 20 tax-relief measures while she served in the Legislature, including car-tag reform, and co-sponsored the Quality Jobs Act, which is credited with creating thousands of jobs in the state.

She also worked to create the College Savings Plan and sponsored a bill to crack down on abuse of the elderly.

``We can lay the foundation for fiscal responsibility, and more responsibility from nursing homes,'' Boyd said.

Since the 1998 gubernatorial campaign, Boyd, a licensed marriage and family therapist and a licensed professional counselor, has been a lobbyist and consultant for the Oklahoma Federation of Teachers, a teachers union with about 4,500 members.
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