Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate welcomes competition 

The swimming pool for the 2010 governor's race may be getting more crowded in the coming days, but that's no concern to one candidate already in the water.

Lt. Gov. Jari Askins was the first to dive into the race earlier this year when she announced her candidacy. Since then, several other well-known state politicians have either announced or are close to putting on the election swim trunks. The latest is former Congressman J.C. Watts who is expected to announce by Memorial Day.

When asked about the way the race is shaping up, Askins simply replied: "Good for me."

And why is that?

"Because I'm the best qualified and best prepared for the job."

Askins had just finished speaking to a crowd of about 100 people attending a luncheon sponsored by Business Connect when she was asked about the governor's race.

"In 2002, there were five (Democrat) candidates who ran for the office so I expect more to get in," Askins said.

CANDIDATES
Besides Askins, Republican Congresswoman and the person Askins replaced in the lieutenant governor's office, Mary Fallin, has said she is running for governor. State Sen. Randy Brogdan, R-Owasso, is also an official candidate.

On the Democratic side, Attorney General Drew Edmondson has formed an exploratory committee and is expected to give his decision on a race some time during the summer.

Brad Henry is term limited and will finish out his second term by mid-January of 2011. "Scott Cooper

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