By Ashli Sims, The News On 6
UNDATED – The two women in the race for Oklahoma governor are competing for the conservative brand.
Even Democratic candidate Jari Askins is claiming conservative values. Now new ads from rival Republican Mary Fallin and an outside group are raising the red flag.
"Jari Askins is an Oklahoma conservative," the announcer in the commercial says.
It's a surprising message from the Democrat running to be Oklahoma's next governor. Jari Askins is fighting back against a recent ad, blasting her as "too liberal."
Askins' response uses Mary Fallin's picture, even though the Congresswoman's campaign says it did not pay for or approve the original ad.
That original commercial was sponsored by the Republican Governors Association, based in Washington D.C. They're not ceding conservative ground without a fight.
The latest RGA ad claims Askins opposed cutting taxes in 2006.
That's true, but only half the story. The Askins campaign says she voted for big tax cuts in 2005 and didn't think it was fiscally responsible to cut them again a year later.
The RGA ad also says Askins wants to let felons apply for reduced sentences.
That's true. Askins did vote for a bill that would remove a year-long waiting period before judges could review prison sentences. At the time, supporters said it would have eased prison overcrowding, but opponents called it "back-door early release."
While Mary Fallin is sticking with positive image spots on the airwaves, online she's beating back Jari Askins' attempt to encroach into conservative territory.
She's got an ad on her website that she says reveals Askins' true blue colors.
"Jari Askins refuses to support Arizona's common sense immigration law. That's not conservative," the announcer in the ad says.
Askins says in her ad that it's the folks in Washington that have failed to get tough on immigration. And she's focused on Oklahoma, because she wants to be Oklahoma's governor.
NewsOn6.com will live stream the first forum between Mary Fallin and Jari Askins Wednesday, September 29, 2010. Alex Cameron, Jennifer Loren and Amy Lester from the Oklahoma Impact team will moderate the forum.
Follow all the latest news on Campaign 2010 by checking out our Politics page.