Inman's decision to drop out of the governor's race leaves former Attorney General Drew Edmondson and former state Sen. Connie Johnson as the two front-runners in the Democratic primary.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma House Democratic leader Scott Inman announced Wednesday he is dropping out of the governor's race and plans to resign from his House seat early next year, citing the stress of the campaign on his personal life.
"The stresses and strains of my career, the time away from my family, and the choice to wrongly prioritize my life's decisions have brought me to this moment," the Oklahoma City attorney said in a statement. "I can no longer ask my wife and children to sacrifice for me. It is time for me to reprioritize what is important in this world."
Inman, 39, did not immediately respond to phone and text messages seeking comment.
In his statement, Inman said he plans to resign from his House seat early next year, before his term ends in November 2018. Inman was term-limited and couldn't seek another term in the Legislature.
His announcement came just as House members in a special session were considering a key vote on a plan to plug a $215 million hole in the budget through a combination of tax increases on cigarettes, motor fuel and alcohol. Democrats, whose votes are needed to pass any tax increases, have been locked up in opposition to the plan, holding out for an increase in the production tax on oil and natural gas.
Inman was first elected to the House in 2006 and became Democratic leader in 2009. At the time he was the youngest person to lead a caucus in Oklahoma history.
His decision to drop out of the governor's race leaves former Attorney General Drew Edmondson and former state Sen. Connie Johnson as the two front-runners in the Democratic primary.
"This moment is certainly disappointing for me and I am certain it will come as a disappointment to those who believed in my campaign and our vision for Oklahoma's future," Inman's statement said. "To you, I would offer that my time in the legislature has taught me ideals and goals are much bigger than one person or one campaign."