Oklahoma: Cornett Visits D.C. but Still Undecided on Race

Posted March 18, 2009 at 5:58pm

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, whom GOP insiders are watching closely to see if he will enter the race to replace Rep. Mary Fallin (R) in the 5th district, was making the rounds on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

But Cornett said he had no plans to meet with National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas). Rather, he was in Washington this week for the National League of Cities 2009 Congressional City Conference.

Asked if he had moved any closer to a decision about running for Congress since Fallin announced nearly three weeks ago that she is running for governor in 2010, Cornett said it’s still too early.

“I have a year left in this mayoral term, and we have large issues going on at home including some public initiatives that are a priority for our city moving forward,— he said. “In about six months I’ll decide on whether or not to run for re-election as mayor, and if I don’t run for re-election as mayor then I’ll consider all the political openings that are there.—

Cornett — who lost to Fallin in a 2006 runoff when the seat was last open — would certainly be a significant player if he got into the race.

“He has proven he can raise money, he has proven he has a very strong base of support and he has the most significant record of accomplishments of anyone looking at the race,— GOP pollster Chris Wilson of Wilson Research Strategies said of Cornett. “I think the field will not be static until Cornett announces what he’s going to do one way or another.—

Not everyone is waiting on Cornett in this safe Republican district. Former state Rep. Kevin Calvey is in the race and has already earned the backing of the powerful anti-tax group the Club for Growth. Urologist Johnny Roy, an Iraqi immigrant, is also running. Calvey and Roy both ran in the GOP primary in 2006.

Other Republican names being mentioned are Corporation Commissioners Jeff Cloud and Bob Anthony, state Sens. Todd Lamb and Glenn Coffee and state Rep. Mike Thompson.