Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin has been wanting to run for governor for at least the past two terms. She's been pushed aside by the GOP both times. It appears now she will have to take another pass.

Mrs. Fallin announced recently that her plans were to seek re-election to the lieutenant governor's post. That leaves the door open to at least three other potential Republican candidates.

Some analysts say state House Speaker Todd Hiett, R-Kellyville, is testing the waters. Term limits will keep the dairy farmer from seeking re-election in 2006 but he can run for statewide office.

Earlier this year, he told The Transcript that he had no plans to run against Gov. Brad Henry who has said he will seek re-election. Since then, a "Friends of Todd Hiett" committee has been formed and is raising money, according to The Hill Report, a political newsletter. A recent fundraiser in Norman included a large number of political action committees and lobbyists as hosts, according to The Hill Report.

Another candidate looking at a race is former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Norman. A spokesman told The Hill Report that Mr. Watts is looking at the race but his political action committee is not raising money for a possible run. That money will be used to help legislative candidates who agree with Mr. Watts' principles and his vision for Oklahoma.

Two other Republicans are also gearing up for a race. Former state Senate Minority Leader Jim Williamson announced his intention to run late this spring. Mr. Williamson is an attorney and former teacher. He has stressed his record on education, economic development and anti-crime issues.

Robert J. Sullivan Jr., a Tulsa oil production company executive, has also talked of running. Mr. Sullivan is a former state energy secretary. He has stressed that he is a businessman first and would be making his first run for public office.

Mr. Watts has said his decision will be based on what's best for his family. He has been known to make political decisions late in the game, but with his statewide name recognition, getting in the race at the 11th hour probably wouldn't hurt him.

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