A lifetime of putting Oklahoma first.
Growing up in Oklahoma
Drew’s values are rooted in his Oklahoma upbringing. The second son of June and Congressman Ed Edmondson and the nephew of former Oklahoma Governor J. Howard Edmondson, Drew learned the value of true public service early.
After graduating from Muskogee Central High School, Drew attended Northeastern State College in Tahlequah on scholarship. While there, he met the former Linda Larason of Fargo, Oklahoma, who would become his wife. After their first date, Drew famously asked Linda, “When are we getting married?” and the rest is history.
Upon graduation from college, Drew enlisted in the United States Navy, where he reached the rank of Petty Office Second Class and served a tour of duty in Vietnam. While in the Navy, he earned the Joint Service Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. His first job after the war was as a speech and debate teacher at Muskogee High School.
He was elected to the state legislature in 1974, and he graduated from the University of Tulsa School of Law in 1978. He was named Chief Prosecutor for the Muskogee County District Attorney’s office in 1982. Drew was elected District Attorney the same year and he served in that position for 10 years. He was elected Attorney General in 1994.
Drew was re-elected Attorney General in 1998 without opposition, and as his popularity grew, he received more than 60 percent of the vote in his 2002 and 2006 elections for that office. He left office in 2011 and has been in the private practice of law since.
The People’s Champion
As District Attorney, his peers named him outstanding DA for the State of Oklahoma and elected him president of the District Attorney’s Association.
As Attorney General, Drew served as president of the National Association of Attorneys General and chaired the association’s committees on Consumer Protection and Tobacco Enforcement. In 2005, he received the prestigious Kelly-Wyman Award as the outstanding attorney general in the country.
Those honors follow a tremendous record of accomplishment. In 1998, Drew was one of eight attorneys general to negotiate a record-breaking settlement agreement with the country’s largest tobacco companies. To protect the settlement money received by Oklahoma, Edmondson led the charge to establish the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, which constitutionally protected the settlement money and ensured that it can only be spent on public health. To date, the Tobacco Trust balance stands at more than $1 billion.
Drew’s efforts on behalf of public schools have also been noteworthy. In 2001, he negotiated a settlement with then Southwestern Bell to establish the Oklahoma Educational Technology Trust. Since then, OETT has put more than $12 million in technology and training into Oklahoma public schools.
A tireless advocate for crime victims, Drew’s record includes establishing the first-ever Victims Services Unit in the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office. With victims in mind, he worked to streamline the death penalty appeals process in Oklahoma.
His love for Oklahoma’s natural resources is evident in his efforts to protect our land and water. In 2006, he sued more than a dozen corporations for polluting the Illinois River Watershed. Because of Drew’s work, the corporate poultry industry has changed its practices, trucking out thousands of tons of waste that was previously applied directly to land in the watershed.
Husband. Father. Grandfather. Servant.
Today, Drew and Linda are proud parents to their daughter, Mary, and son-in-law, Mike, and their son, Robert, and daughter-in-law, Andrea. Drew and Linda also enjoy spending time with their twin grandchildren, Andrew and Catherine, who were born to Mike and Mary in 2008.
Linda is a retired medical social worker and active community volunteer and advocate. Drew has served on executive boards for Oklahoma City University School of Law, the Palomar Family Justice Center, the Oklahoma Mental Health Association, Bacone College and Rainbow Fleet, a private non-profit servicing parents and childcare facilities across the state. He is also a member of Rotary Club 29 and the Oklahoma Academy and a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma, Class IV. He is an ordained Elder in the Presbyterian Church.