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Rice drops out of closed forum

Oklahoma City_Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Rice is dropping out of a forum sponsored by the state chamber because the event was closed to the public and media.

Rice was to appear with Republican Senator Jim Inhofe at the event in Tulsa to discuss business issues.  State chamber Vice President Matt Robison says chamber officials made "an internal decision'' to close the event so the candidates would have a frank discussion of business issues.

Inhofe campaign manager Josh Kivett says he asked that the event be limited to chamber members.  Rice campaign manager Geri Prado says she asked the chamber not to close the event.

Copyright 2008 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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