Two seats on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission are up for election this year

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April 13, 2012

By Maresa Strano

Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma: Two state executive positions on the Sooner State's Corporation Commission are up for grabs in 2012, and three candidates turned in their petitions to the secretary of state before the 48-hour primary filing window came to a close Friday evening.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is composed of three individuals, one of whom serves the role of chairperson. The current chairwoman, Dana Murphy (R), was first elected to a partial, two-year term on the commission in 2008 and then won election to a full six-year term in 2010, becoming the commission's chair on January 3, 2011. The other two seats are up for election this year, one seat for a regular term expiring in 2018 and one seat for the remainder of former commissioner Jeff Cloud's unexpired term, ending in 2014.

When Cloud resigned in 2011, Gov. Mary Fallin appointed Mayor of Edmond Patrice Douglas (R) to replace him until the 2012 election. Douglas is now running unopposed for election to the short-term seat.[1]

Defending his seat on the commission, Bob Anthony (R) is seeking re-election to a fifth six-year term this year. Today, Anthony holds the title of Oklahoma's longest-serving statewide elected official, having been first elected in 1996. He is the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Regulatory Research Institute. He was also appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Energy to serve on the National Petroleum Council.[2] He will face one challenger, Brooks Mitchell, in the Republican primary race on June 26, 2012.

The only one among the trio of all-Republican candidates who does not currently serve on the commission, Mitchell is a former Corporation Commission administrator and public accountant. Mitchell laid out his intentions for seeking the commissioner seat against its perennial occupant, Anthony, on his campaign website. "The agency that regulates public utilities and the state’s oil and natural gas industry needs to be modernized," he said. If elected, he says he will accomplish this modernization through the introduction of new technologies.[3]

The terms of office for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission were amended in 2010. See also: Article 9, Section 15 of the state constitution

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