Largent confirms plans to seek governor's seat

Saturday, March 17th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ U.S. Rep. Steve Largent said Friday he plans to run for governor in 2002 because he is ready to make a difference at home in Oklahoma.

The Republican, who was elected to the House in 1994, said his candidacy won't be official until summer 2002, when the filing period opens.

``I'm ready to come home,'' Largent said. ``I've built up a lot of equity in terms of my experience in government and maybe I'm supposed to leverage that for some higher purpose and greater good for the state of Oklahoma.''

Largent said he is debating whether to resign from Congress and concentrate on a new campaign.

The Tulsa native and University of Tulsa graduate played 14 years of pro football for the Seattle Seahawks. By the time he retired in 1989, he'd caught more passes than anyone in pro football history. He'd even landed on a box of Wheaties.

Largent is seeking to succeed Gov. Frank Keating, who is in his second term.

The only other announced GOP candidate is Jim Denny, a political newcomer who is the father of two children who survived the Oklahoma City bombing. On the Democratic side, two former gubernatorial candidates, Vince Orza, and former University of Oklahoma football star, Jack Mildren, are looking at running.