Ethics Commission report shows Largent formed fund-raising committee

Saturday, March 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A report filed with the state Ethics Commission shows U.S. Rep. Steve Largent has formed a ``Largent for Governor'' committee to raise money for a campaign.

The Tulsa Republican has not publicly announced a 2002 race for the state's highest office, but by filing a report with the commission this week, he is considered a candidate. The committee was organized on Monday, the report said.

Largent's financial report listing campaign contributions is due by April 30.

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Vince Orza last month changed his party affiliation to Democrat and has mentioned interest in running for governor.

``We certainly encouraged him to change his registration since he's kind of an independent,'' former Gov. David Walters said. ``I'd be delighted to support Vince Orza.''

Jim Denny, the father of two children injured in the Oklahoma City bombing, has announced he is running for governor as a Republican.

Other Democrats who may be interested in running for governor are State Rep. Loyd Benson, D-Frederick, the former state House Speaker, and state Treasurer Robert Butkin.

Gov. Frank Keating's final term ends in January 2003.

Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin announced Thursday she will not join the governor's race and try for a another term as lieutenant governor. Fallin said she has begun raising money for her campaign.

Labor Commissioner Brenda Reneau Wynn said she will run against Fallin. Reneau Wynn's account balance as of Dec. 31 was $1,179. Both women are Republicans.

Former state Rep. Laura Boyd said she plans to run for lieutenant governor, too, but has not made an official announcement. Boyd, D-Norman, lost her bid to become governor in 1998.