- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The major candidates in Oklahoma’s race for governor have hit the airwaves highlighting the incumbent’s record - with Gov. Mary Fallin touting her efforts at “pushing back” against the federal government and state Rep. Joe Dorman saying her education plan deserves failing marks.

Dorman, a term-limited Democrat from Rush Springs who is launching an uphill battle against an entrenched GOP incumbent in Fallin, has thrown the first punch with his ad targeting Fallin for her initial support of Common Core education standards and her veto of several bills.

“I don’t think the ad is negative. That’s informational,” Dorman said. “That’s letting people know what Mary Fallin has done as their governor and how she has not been representing them.”

Fallin campaign spokesman Alex Weintz said Dorman is attacking Fallin’s record because he doesn’t want to talk about his own.

“What he’s doing instead is slinging mud at the governor and her record, and that’s indicative of campaigns that are behind in the polls and getting desperate,” Weintz said.



Dorman’s ad, airing on major broadcast networks across the state for the rest of the week, accuses Fallin of “siding with Washington bureaucrats” for her support of Common Core and criticizes her vetoes of three bills that were supported by a pro-Second Amendment group. Fallin was an early supporter of the more rigorous education standards, but later reversed course amid growing opposition and signed a bill to repeal them.

The ad features one image of Dorman, sleeves rolled up, leaning against a pipe fence, and another chatting with a man wearing camouflage next to a pickup truck loaded with firearms.

Dorman said the ad, which began airing last week, has led to a 300 percent increase in traffic to his website.

“It’s been receiving a great response,” Dorman said.



Fallin’s ad features scenic Oklahoma landscapes and photos from the Moore tornado as she talks about the faith of the state’s residents that “sustains us through difficult times.” She also touts her refusal to support the federal health care law and her opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The ad includes Fallin speaking directly to the camera and also has images of her holding hands in prayer outside a tornado-damaged elementary school and talking to workers in a machine shop.



After Dorman’s ad aired, Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Dave Weston criticized the 44-year-old bachelor as a “political playboy” who is pandering for votes because he’s trailing in the polls. Weston also tweeted a photo of Dorman, clad in a bathing suit and T-shirt, with his arms around two female television reporters.

Dorman said he’s not sure why he’s being criticized for being single.

“I was participating in a charity event with three local television reporters,” Dorman said about the picture. “I date. There’s no secret about that. I’m single, and I don’t really know what the story is.”

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