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April 10, 2014

Rush Springs sends Dorman into gubernatorial battle

RUSH SPRINGS — RUSH SPRINGS -- Joe Dorman, who returned to his high school alma mater on Wednesday for a pep rally sendoff to run for governor, never ran for Student Council President back in the day.

“I couldn’t have gotten elected to that. I know you don’t run for the races you can’t win,” he said with a smile.

Minutes later, the Rush Springs High School band broke into its version of “Oklahoma,” cheerleaders began shaking pom-poms and State Rep. Dorman, a 1989 graduate of Rush Springs High School who wore  cowboy boots and jeans for occassion, burst through a campaign sign stretched across the gymansium floor.

Forget about Student Council President.

Joe Dorman is officially running for governor.

“You have my promise: I will make Rush Springs proud,” he told a hometown crowd gathered in the gym.  “We are going to surprise a lot of people.”

If he defeats incumbent Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, it really will surprise a lot of people, based on political polls.

Dorman admits it won’t be easy running against Fallin, whose campaign, he said, will be better funded.

“I have no doubt in my mind the fund-raising will be tough but this is going to be a grassroots campaign and it’s going to be an effort that’s going to be led by the people,” he told The Duncan Banner before addressing the Rush Springs crowd. “They want to have a voice at the Capitol.”

Dorman said he thinks Fallin is vulnerable on education issues.

“It’s been almost a decade since teachers had a pay raise. The same for state employees,” he said.  “They feel neglected and underappreciated. That’s certainly something I want to correct in my administration.

“Certainly the most glaring problem in the schools has been the ‘one size fits all’ testing that we’ve seen implemented on our students, especially at the third-grade level. These kids should not be subjected to some high-stakes test that they have little chance of passing, in some instances, because we haven’t provided the remediation funding to give them the tools they need to pass.”

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