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Election

Candidates Downplay Party in 2nd District Race

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The race for an open congressional seat in eastern Oklahoma is the top political prize in next week's general election for both parties, but the top candidates in the race are downplaying party affiliation.

Republican Markwayne Mullin stresses business experience as he tries to appeal to Democrats while Democrat Rob Wallace tries to distance himself from President Obama — who failed to win a single one of the district's 26 counties in 2008.

The two will be on the Nov. 6 ballot, along with independent Michael Fulks of Heavener.

Democrats outnumber Republicans by a more than 2-to-1 margin in the district that stretches from the state's borders with Kansas to Texas — but has grown conservative in recent years, even in the longtime "Little Dixie" Democratic stronghold in southeast Oklahoma.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.