BY Michelle Garcia
March 26 2010 12:20 PM ET
When did you first decide you were going to run against Kern?
As I stated in that letter, there's been a lot of talk about her obviously, and one of our most respected business newspapers, TheJournal Record, really called her out this past July because she had signed this citizens' proclamation for morality, which blamed the economic situation on gays and abortions and had quotes from the Founding Fathers that were taken out of context, and it became fodder for national media to make fun of Oklahoma again and make us look like we're not moving forward. It really hurt our image because Oklahoma City is really becoming a great place to live. It's an amazing city with a lot of diversity and a great culture. Our downtown has really been thriving, there's a lot of urban renewal going on, metropolitan area projects that have renovated our downtown like our new arena, we have an NBA team, a new skyscraper going up. We've put a lot of effort in renewing the business environment here, and we're trying to attract more young professionals who would hopefully make this their home. Her pushing this agenda that blames economic problems on certain parts of our population and creating a divisive climate just pushes people and business away. It hinders our ability to draw young people here.
In your open letter to Kern, you said you would run a fair campaign with no personal attacks. What if the political landscape starts to get personal or below-the-belt?
There's nothing I can do to stop whatever might happen. I hope that Representative Kern will hold true to her word. She gave some interviews around the time that I announced my candidacy and indicated that the way she saw it was that I'm a Democrat, she's a Republican, and we would run on that. So I hope she'll maintain that. Certainly there are third parties out there who may not listen to me and may go ahead and personally attack her, just like she may have supporters that don't take the lead from her and personally attack me. It happens. I hope that those voices are kept to a minimum and they don't overshadow the campaign, because I really do think there are some serious differences in how we see the future of Oklahoma and what we think will be best for our economic development. I think the voters deserve the chance to discuss those differences.