Mildren Thinking Congress, Istook Readies For Henry

10-3-05 - Former Lieutenant Governor Jack Mildren is considering a run for Congress.

Mildren says he's looking at entering the race for the Fifth Congressional District seat now held by Republican Ernest Istook. Istook announced Monday that he plans to run for governor.

Istook told the Tulsa World's Washington bureau that his intentions aren't a very well-kept secret. He's scheduled stops in Oklahoma City and Tulsa for Monday and in several other communities on Tuesday.

Istook will have to give up the US House seat he first won in 1992.

While not mentioning Democratic Governor Brad Henry by name, Istook says people want someone with a clear vision who will exercise leadership. He also said Oklahoma's future requires more than tax increases and gambling.

Henry spokesman -- Paul Sund -- says the governor is focused on running the state of Oklahoma, not on potential political opponents. Sund says whoever Henry's opponent may be in the race, he's ready for a spirited contest and won't take anything for granted.

Mildren says he's not made a decision, but says he's being encouraged by friends to make the race.

Mildren is a former University of Oklahoma quarterback and oilman. He served four years as lieutenant governor before an unsuccessful run for governor in 1994.

Also considering running for the congressional seat if Istook runs for governor is Republican Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin and Republican state Representative Kevin Calvey.