Drew Edmondson, attorney general and gubernatorial hopeful, said he’s ready for next Tuesday’s primary election.
“We’re doing a 24 city sweep with events every night this week, gearing up for the end of the primary,” he said.
He said the final stretch of his campaign would include a Main Street tour to highlight rural economic development. He said his economic plan can be found at www.edmondson2010.com.
“Going into the last eight days of the campaign, we remain the only campaign that has a formal written plan for how we’re going to grow the economy and generate jobs,” Edmondson said.
When Edmondson visited Ada in May, he said his main priority as governor would be to help generate good-paying job growth. He said that continues to be a top priority.
“In these particular times it is, of necessity, the first requirement—growing the economy,” he said. “Otherwise, we’ll never get out of the cellar in education or do the other things that we need to do in state government.”
Edmondson said smaller communities will not be neglected in his economic plan.
“Coming from Muskogee and my wife from a small town in northwestern Oklahoma, we’re making it very clear that this is going to be a 77-county economic plan and not one centered on the major metropolitan areas,” he said.
He said his economic plan included using Oklahoma’s natural resources to fuel the economy.
“We intend, fully, to capitalize on our natural resources and our assets like natural gas and wind,” he said. He said other areas of strength in Oklahoma, such as medical research, aviation and aerospace, should also be utilized.
“In medicine, aviation and biofuels, I hope to use the research arms of our institutions of higher education, including East Central, to work as an adjunct in job creation,” he said. “We think research attracts research and research creates incubator companies that start up, grow and provide jobs.”
Another key issue in revitalizing the economy, Edmondson said, is education.
“We’re 48th in capital expenditures and 49th in teacher salaries. That’s just unacceptable. We aren’t producing the educated workforce that our companies need and we’re certainly not going to be attracting industry from other states if we don’t have a top-notch education system to offer.”
Edmondson said his other priorities include promoting healthy lifestyles for Oklahomans and a smart-on-crime approach to reducing prison populations.
“The long-range solution to reducing prison population has got to be in drug, alcohol and mental health counseling,” he said.
Edmondson said he believes the primary and the general election would both likely be close races but he also believes his campaign is up to the challenge.