Former Rep. J.C. Watts, a conservative black Republican from Oklahoma, announced he won’t challenge Democratic Gov. Brad Henry next year. “I cannot in good conscience conclude that 2006 is right for me and for the family that I love so much, and I would not ask them to put themselves through the rigor of a statewide campaign at this time,” said Watts, 47. Watts retired from his House seat in 2002, after rising to the fourth-ranking spot in the GOP leadership. He spent two months traveling the state before reaching his decision August 23. With Watts out, the Oklahoma GOP is left with State Sen. Jim Williamson of Tulsa and Tulsa oil executive Robert Sullivan as possible candidates. Gov. Henry has become a popular incumbent after narrowly defeating former GOP Rep. Steve Largent in 2002.
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