OUR VIEW: Corn for lieutenant governor
Editor's note:The Daily incorrectly reported that the first male lieutenant governor would be elected during the Nov. 2 elections in its Wednesday editorial "Corn for lieutenant governor." The editorial should have specified that Todd Lamb, if elected, would be the first male Republican lieutenant governor.
Editor’s note: In preparation for the Nov. 2 state elections, The Daily will endorse key candidates and state questions.
Not only will we have our first female governor after the Nov. 2 elections, but we could also have our first male Republican lieutenant governor.
Three candidates are on the ballot: Republican Todd Lamb, Democrat Kenneth Corn, and Independent Richard Prawdzienski.
The role is an important stepping stone for many politicians who may become governor.
This year’s gubernatorial candidates, Republican Mary Fallin and Democrat Jari Askins, have both served as lieutenant governor.
The lieutenant governor has a role similar to the U.S. vice president: he or she serves as governor when the chief executive officer leaves the state, becomes incapacitated or resigns. He or she serves as Oklahoma State Senate president, casts a vote if there is a tie and presides over joint sessions of the state legislature. Lieutenant governor serves a four-year term and has no term limitation.
In short, the position is mostly symbolic and doesn’t hold any real power, except for moments at a time. So why do they run on tickets separate from the gubernatorial candidate?
If they have no major legislative power and are second in command, why would citizens vote on a candidate possibly opposed to the governor?
Our government should make it easier a choice to make and have the candidate for governor pick a running mate, and then voters will get both with one vote.
On Tuesday, we endorsed Democratic candidate Jari Askins for governor. Because we feel candidates for governor and lieutenant governor ought to run on the same ticket, our endorsement of Askins is also an endorsement of Corn.
Corn is the candidate best suited to fill the “vice president” role of lieutenant governor, and would enforce the check on the Republican-dominated legislature.
He has served Oklahoma well in the state senate, proposing cuts to wasteful government programs, such as the Governor’s Cabinet, while holding onto social services that matter.