Orza files papers to raise funds for governor's race

Tuesday, November 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Businessman Vince Orza filed papers with the Ethics Committee on Monday to permit him to raise money for a Democratic race for governor.

``It's a $3 million race and I'm going to spend virtually all my time in the weeks ahead making contacts to raise that amount of money,'' Orza said.

Orza operates a restaurant franchise business and is a former Oklahoma City television news anchor.

In 1990, he ran for governor as a Republican, leading the primary but losing in a runoff. He switched his party registration to Democrat earlier this year.

He said he expects to attract mainstream Republican support, as well as Democrats and independents.

Others who earlier filed papers forming exploratory committees are Republicans Steve Largent of Tulsa, who is leaving his 1st District Congressional post; Jerry Regier of Oklahoma City, a member of Gov. Frank Keating's cabinet, and motivational speaker Jim Denny, also of Oklahoma City.

Independent Gary Richardson of Muskogee also is running.

Jack Mildren, former lieutenant governor and the 1992 Democratic nominee, formed a committee but later dissolved it and dropped out of the Democratic race.

Orza said he is running because the state's economy is stagnant and the state needs leadership in the area of education.

He said there is ``an enormous amount of support out there for someone who would be a centrist _ somebody who comes from the private sector.''