Oklahoma state Rep. Joe Dorman (D) announced his bid for governor on Monday, becoming the first Democratic challenger to Gov. Mary Fallin (R).
In announcement speeches at the Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City and the Tulsa Press Club, Dorman railed against Fallin, saying the incumbent governor has repeatedly placed "politics over people."
“I’ve watched many Oklahomans suffer from her decisions that have continued to place politics over people, and special interests ahead of sound public policy," Dorman said. "I ask you -- are you better off today than you were three years ago when Mary Fallin moved into the mansion?"
Citing the state's faltering public programs, including poor rankings in public school educators' pay and gang-related violence, Dorman said Oklahomans "deserve better."
“I don’t believe that we have to settle for being at the bottom of the barrel in anything," he said. "We deserve better. Whether it’s 21st century schools and storm shelters for our children, or safer roads and bridges. These are not Republican issues, or Democratic issues. They are Oklahoma issues. But to truly affect change, we have to work together."
Fallin announced her reelection campaign last October. Former Oklahoma state Sen. Randy Brogdon (R) announced his challenge to Fallin for the Republican nomination in December.