Sean Murphy

Associated Press Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Republican Mary Fallin recognized the historic nature of becoming Oklahoma’s first woman governor on Monday, but said she is foremost an Oklahoma conservative and vowed to improve the state’s economy by attracting jobs, improving education and shrinking government.

Fallin and other statewide elected officials took office Monday on a raw winter day on the south steps of the state Capitol.

A longtime fixture of Oklahoma politics, the Tecumseh native said she was excited about returning to her home state after spending four years in Congress representing Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District.

“I could not agree more with the famous words of Dorothy in one of my favorite movies of the past. In the movie, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, when she impassionedly declared “There is no place like home.” Well, truly for me there is no place like Oklahoma, and I am proud to call it my home,” Fallin said.

Fallin is Oklahoma’s 27th governor and replaces Democrat Brad Henry, who left office after eight years because of term limits.

Fallin reiterated her campaign promise to make Oklahoma more business friendly, improve public education and reduce the size of state government.

“In Oklahoma what we need are more jobs, not more taxes — let me add — more private sector jobs,” Fallin said. “We must make certain Oklahoma’s business climate can attract new capital, new investments, which produce new jobs and retain existing jobs.”