The Duncan Banner
Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb made Duncan his first campaign fundraising stop heading into an expected run for a second term.
Lamb, who made headlines in November 2010 for becoming the first Republican male elected to the state’s second-highest executive post, mingled with about 70 people at a fundraising barbecue dinner at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center on Tuesday night.
Lamb noted he has not formally announced his bid for re-election, saying that would come sometime this spring.
“We want to take the steps to prepare us to finish the job that we started and I’m thrilled to take those initial steps in Duncan,” Lamb said before his formal remarks at the dinner.
“We’ve been on the phone and I’ve been doing what candidates do — talking and garnering support — but I guess if you want to term anything that’s defined as an event, this would be it in the community of Duncan.”
Gov. Mary Fallin, who became the first woman and first Republican elected as Oklahoma’s lieutenant governor in 1994, is expected to seek another four-year term next year.
The lieutenant governor in Oklahoma is chosen on a separate ballot as governor so they are not elected as running mates.
Lamb has touted small businesses, infrastructure needs and economic growth during his first three years in office and was a major advocate of overhauling the state’s workers compensation system. The state Legislature enacted several changes to the system during this year’s session.
There is already talk Lamb is lining himself up for a gubernatorial run in 2018, but he says he’s not looking that far ahead.
“I tell those folks they are kind and thank you for the nice compliment, but I have a full-time job right now and that is being lieutenant governor, and that will remain my full-time job as long as people will have me,” Lamb said.
That’s where the fundraising comes in.
The suggested donation at Tuesday’s event was $25 per plate, although bigger contributions were certainly welcome. The invitation said for a contribution of $5,000, a supporter could become a “trail boss.” A $2,500 donation would make you a “wagon master,” and so on down the line, ending with a “cow hand” for $50.
According to campaign finance reports filed with the state, Lamb raised about $50,000 in the first six months this year and had nearly $47,000 cash on hand as of June 30.
Lamb, who grew up in Enid, said Duncan is an important regional engine to Oklahoma’s economy and its growth.
“I know the sun does not rise or set in Tulsa alone and it does not rise or set in Oklahoma City alone, it rises and sets in 77 counties, and that includes Stephens and Garfield counties,” Lamb said. Enid is located in Garfield County.
Lamb talks often of “defeating Texas economically,” even with its bigger size, bigger cities and bigger population. In the past few years, Lamb said, Oklahoma has led the nation at times in low unemployment and manufacturing growth.
“Texas is big, has a lot of cities, but we don’t mention that parenthetically or allude to it when we are talking about football, do we?” Lamb said. “None of us do that. We expect to beat the Longhorns and A&M ... and we expect to beat Houston, Rice, Baylor. We expect it and here’s why: We know we’re good at football.”
Lamb said efforts are being made on the public policy front as well “where we are competing on a regular basis with our neighbors to the south.”
Stephens County GOP Chairman Leon Farris, who attended Tuesday’s fundraiser, said he appreciated Lamb’s conservative values and said he has been a very good ambassador for Oklahoma,
“The lieutenant governor is probably our state’s number one cheerleader other than the governor and we depend on him to get the word out, particularly in trying to bring new businesses to the state, and I think he’s done a good job of that,” Farris said.
The fundraiser invitation listed hosts as John and Cenee Bachelor, Deano Cox, Rick and Barbara Braught, Marilyn Hugon, Lyle and Kim Roggow and Josh and Kim Creekmore.