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Oklahoma Governor Names Former Rival to Run Foster Care Plan

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State of Oklahoma
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Jari Askins

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Republican Governor Mary Fallin has named former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jari Askins as a special adviser on child welfare and implementation of a plan to improve the state's foster care system.

Fallin said Thursday that Askins, a former lieutenant governor who lost the 2010 gubernatorial election to Fallin, will oversee implementation of the Pinnacle Plan. The plan is the Oklahoma Department of Human Services' five-year effort to reform the child welfare system.

Askins has served in all three branches of government, most recently as interim executive director of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.

Askins is a native of Duncan who passed up seeking re-election as lieutenant governor to run for governor in 2010. As both lieutenant governor and a gubernatorial candidate she emphasized improving state services to children.