TULSA - Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin probably hasn't lost a lot of sleep over the upcoming June 24th primary, as she's expected to easily reclaim the Republican nomination.
But Democrat Joe Dorman says he's slowly closing in on her, and by November he hopes to present a sizeable challenge to her reelection.
"I feel like a real contender," he tells KRMG, adding "it's helpful when Mary has done such a horrible job on so many issues where there is plenty for the voters to decide on different avenues."
He offered several examples.
"The way she's handled education, with the 'one size fits all' approach; with not accepting the Medicaid expansion dollars; with the way she's treated state employees by outlawing the e-cigarettes on property; the arts and culture community, trying to roll the historical society and the Arts Council under tourism under her best friend who she gave a $40,000 pay raise to just a few months before that. People can look at the track record of the way she's run the State of Oklahoma the past four years, and I feel that they are certainly experiencing buyer's remorse, that they didn't get what they bought, what they were promised, and they want to look at a different direction."
He said polls show him closing the gap on Fallin.
In February, when he announced his candidacy, Fallin had a 20 percent lead on him, according to an internal poll.
"When you look at a year ago, when she was polling at 70 percent, and now she's in the mid-fifties, in a year she's dropped 15 points, and that's huge," he said. "That shows that the voters are paying attention, and they are willing to look at other candidates, ones that will represent their views."
Fallin faces two Republican challengers in the June 24 primary, Dax Ewbank and Chad Moody.
There are three Independents vying for the nomination: Richard Prawdzienski, Joe Sills, and Kimberly Willis.
Dorman is unopposed in the Democrat primary.