Mary Fallin is the incumbent Governor of Oklahoma who is currently serving the second gubernatorial term since taking office on January 10, 2011 as the successor if Brad Henry. Formerly, she was Chair of the National Governors Association (2013 – 2014), a member of the US House of Representatives (2007 – 2011), Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma (1995 – 2007) and a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives (1990 – 1995).
Early Life and Education
Mary Fallin was born on December 9, 1954 to father Joseph Newton and mother Mary Jo. Raised in a democratic family, she was influenced by democratic ideologies until 21 when she changed to Republican. Fallin went to Tecumseh High School and later joined Oklahoma Baptist University and Oklahoma State University for an undergraduate degree in environmental sciences.
Mary Fallin is currently married to a lawyer husband Wade Christensen. The couple has six children. Previously, Fallin was in a marital relationship with Joseph Fallin. They broke up after 14 years of marriage i.e. in 1998.
Finishing off education at Oklahoma State University, Mary Fallin started working for various organizations and corporations. At some point, she was in Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation and Oklahoma Office of Personal Management. Likewise, Fallin worked in private sector as a manager at Lexington Hotel & Suites and as a real estate broker as well.
Having moved from job to job and gained a lot of private and public sector experiences, Fallin decided to enter the mainstream politics by running for the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1989. She won two consecutive terms at the office and left in 19955, being succeeded by Odilia Dank. Leaving Oklahoma House of Representatives, Fallin joined Frank Keating as his running mate for Governor.
In the 1994 Oklahoma Gubernatorial Republican Primary Results, Mary Fallin stood second after Terry Theresa Neese with a very close margin. Hence, the run-off election was held and Fallin clearly thrashed Terry to gain the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor. In the general election, Mary Fallin and Frank Keating defeated Democrat and Independent pairs with 49.69% votes in favor. Likewise, Fallin decided to go for another term in Lieutenant Governor’s office in 1998 general election. The Fallin-Keating pair defeated the Democrat opponent with 68% votes in hand.
In 2002, Fallin was chosen by Brad Henry to become his running mate. Consequently, Fallin thrashed Democrat opponent Laura Boyd with 57% votes and served for a year term alongside Governor Brad Henry. She was succeeded by Asa Askins. As Lieutenant Governor, Fallin served in various positions such as Chair of National Lieutenant Governors Association and National Chair of the Aerospace States Association.
Leaving the position of Lieutenant Governor, Fallin ran for a seat in the US House of Representatives from the 5th District. Gaining the Republican nomination after a run-off election win against Republican colleague Mick Cornett, Mary Fallin faced Democrat opponent David Hunter and Matthew Woodson in the ultimate election. She defeated them by acquiring 60% votes. In 2008, Fallin ran for another two-year term at the office against Democrat opponent Steven Perry and defeated him with 66% votes.
In the 2010 Oklahoma Gubernatorial Election, Mary Fallin decided to bid her candidacy, hence running against Randy Brogdon, Robert Hubbard and Roger Jackson for the Republican nomination. She thrashed the other candidates with 55% votes. Fallin went on to defeat Democrat opponent Jari Askins in the general election with 60% votes. Mary sought for another term as Governor of Oklahoma and gained an easy Republican nomination with 75.5% votes. Later, she defeated Democrat opponent Joe Dorman with 56% votes.
As Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin has been repeatedly caught up in controversies. She supported for an increased use of lethal injections while executing death penalties. Likewise, Fallin also supported the Ten Commandment monument which violated the Oklahoma constitution by not complying with the clause stating that no public property could be used to benefit a particular religion. Moreover, Fallin also comes into controversy with her anti-abortion laws.
In terms of economy, Fallin believes in tax cuts for an increase in investment. In figures, she cut down the state income tax from 5.25% to 5% although economists predict the reduction to result in a loss of $147 million from tax revenue. As of Jan 2017, the unemployment rate is at 4.7% and the absolute poverty level has decreased significantly.
Donald Trump and Mary Fallin
As of 2016, Mary Fallin was one of the potential candidates for Trump’s running mate as suggested by Andre Bauer. Donald Trump also called this suggestion a ‘great advice’, but it seems he didn’t consider her for VPOTUS after being the Republican nominee.
Anyway, Mary Fallin endorsed Donald Trump and even co-chaired the 2016 Republican National Convention’s Committee on Resolutions.