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Common Core Standards May Cost Gov. Fallin Votes in Next Year's Gubernatorial Race

Matt Trotter

Gov. Mary Fallin's support for Common Core State Standards may cost her the votes of more-conservative Republicans when she runs for re-election next year.

A small group of protesters gathered Tuesday morning outside the Tulsa bagel shop where Fallin kicked off her 2014 campaign. While their signs addressed multiple issues, the most common was Fallin's support for the K-12 standards for academic proficiency, coordinated by the National Governors Association, which Fallin chairs.

Oklahoma adopted the standards in 2010, and they are scheduled to be fully implemented for the 2014–2015 school year.

One sign compared common core to Obamacare, with the protesters saying the standards are a federal intrusion under the guise of a state-led movement.

Ronda Vuillemont-Smith, founder and president of local Tea Party group Tulsa 912 Project, said Fallin's support or lack of opposition to common core standards will hurt her when the 2014 election rolls around.

"If being the head of the NGA is more important to her than protecting the students of Oklahoma, then she will not receive a lot of Republican support," Vuillemont-Smith said.

Fallin responded by saying both sides are working to improve Oklahoma's education system.

"We may have different ways of getting to those goals, and that's OK," Fallin said. "We'll have a debate about that, but in the end, I think we all share the same goals."

Fallin also made campaign stops Tuesday in Oklahoma City and Lawton.