By John Celock
Oklahoma’s House minority leader has announced a bid to become the nation’s youngest governor.
House Minority Leader Scott Inman (D-Oklahoma City) announced Thursday that he is the second Democrat to enter the 2018 gubernatorial contest. Inman made the announcement in a video with his wife, Dessa, and their daughters. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) is term-limited.
“I am not a rich man and I don’t have a famous name,” Inman said. “I certainly haven’t been a rubber stamp for Mary Fallin.”
Inman and his wife used the brief video to outline a vision for the state that is different from the one led by the two term Fallin. Inman said that among his priorities is to “rebuild” schools, roads and health care in Oklahoma.
Inman, 38, was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2006 and was elected minority leader in 2010, becoming the youngest person to lead a state legislative caucus in Oklahoma history.
If elected Inman would become the youngest governor in the nation, a title currently held by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R). Inman though would be the fourth youngest governor in Oklahoma history. Democrat J. Howard Edmondson was 33 when he was elected in 1958, Democrat David Boren was 33 when he was elected in 1974 and Democrat Brad Henry was 39 when he was elected in 2002.
Inman joins former state Sen. Connie Johnson in the Democratic primary for governor. On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb (R) and former U.S. Attorney Gary Richardson have both announced gubernatorial campaigns. U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, state Treasurer Ken Miller and state Auditor Gary Jones are considered potential GOP gubernatorial candidates.
Inman is not the only gubernatorial candidate to distance themselves from Fallin. Lamb, who was elected twice independently of Fallin, announced earlier this year that he was stepping down from the post as state small business advocate in Fallin’s cabinet.
In the announcement video, Dessa Inman described Oklahoma under Fallin’s leadership as failing.
“Over the last few years our state’s leaders have let down our families and our neighbors,” Dessa Inman said. “To put it bluntly they’ve failed us and something has to change.”