won't have to face the voters until November 2000, but the Lawton Democrat already has drawn a Republican opponent.Steve Fair, a rural Stephens County businessman and the former chairman of the Stephens County Republican Party, has announced that he
plans to oppose Helton
.And although the election is 14 months away, both men are already busy holding fund-raisers and organizing their campaigns for Senate District 31, which includes portions of eastern Comanche County and western Stephens County and all of Cotton County.U.S. Sen.
will counter with a fundraiser at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Holiday Inn, which will feature Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Stratton Taylor and many state lawmakers.
is pretty firmly entrenched as an incumbent, Fair said.We've got to change Oklahoma, Fair said.While he's
been in for quite some time, Oklahoma is No. 47 in per capita income in the United States, and No. 7 in tax burden..We're doing something wrong.The only way to change that is to change the state Legislature..
has not drawn an opponent since 1992, when he
beat Republican Jana Barker in a special election to fill an unexpired term after winning the Democratic primary.He
was re-elected in 1992 and 1996 without opposition.I was hoping not to have an opponent (in 2000).I've worked hard, said Helton
, who said Fair's challenge is not a surprise.I knew they were looking for someone, and I knew he
was thinking about running.I don't know anything about him..I feel like I've got support all over the whole district.He's
not going to beat me, I can assure you that, Helton said.I'm a heavy, heavy campaigner, and I have a large family..Helton
, who said Fair's early announcement has helped his
own fund-raising efforts, said he
expects to have $ 65, 000 in his
campaign treasury after Tuesday's fund-raiser.I plan on raising $ 100, 000, Helton said.Helton
will have to leave the state Senate in 2004, when 12-year term limits kick in for state lawmakers.He
may return to law enforcement.Helton
was a member of the Lawton Police Department when he
won election to the Senate.
© Copyright 2000, Paid for by Fair for Senate 2000, All rights reservedDisclaimer.