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Oklahoma down ballot state executive elections, 2014

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Oklahoma Down Ballot State Executive Elections

Primary Date:
June 24, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

Oklahoma State Executive Elections
Top Ballot
Governor Lieutenant GovernorAttorney General
Down Ballot
Treasurer, Auditor, Superintendent, Insurance Commissioner, Labor Commissioner, Corporation Commissioner

Flag of Oklahoma.png
Six down ballot state executive positions are up for election in the state of Oklahoma in 2014. The general election will be held on November 4, 2014.

Oklahoma is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. Parties decide who may vote, so an unaffiliated voter must be authorized by a party in order to vote in the primary.[1]

Office Incumbent Assumed Office Incumbent running? General Election Candidates 2015 Winner Partisan Switch?
Treasurer Ken Miller
2011 Yes[2] Republican Party Ken Miller Republican Party Ken Miller No
State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones
Gary Jones.jpg
2011 Yes[2] Republican Party Gary Jones Republican Party Gary Jones No
Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi
Janet Barresi.jpg
2011 Defeated in primary[3] Republican Party Joy Hofmeister
Democratic Party John Cox
Republican Party Joy Hofmeister No
Commissioner of Insurance John Doak
John Doak.jpg
2007 Yes[4] Republican Party John Doak Republican Party John Doak No
Commissioner of Labor Mark Costello
Mark Costello.jpg
2011 Yes[2] Republican Party Mark Costello
Democratic Party Mike Workman
Republican Party Mark Costello No
Corporation Commission Patrice Douglas
Patrice Douglas.jpg
2011 No[5] Republican Party Todd Hiett Republican Party Todd Hiett No

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
April 11, 2014 Filing deadline for all candidates[6]
June 24, 2014 Primary election
August 26, 2014 Runoff primary election
November 4, 2014 General election
January 12, 2015 Inauguration day for state executive officials elected in November


Current incumbent


The Oklahoma Treasurer has a number of constitutional and statutory duties:[7]

  • receive, deposit, and disburse all state funds
  • invest temporary surplus funds
  • invest specific funds for other state agencies where authorized
  • require banks to furnish collateral sufficient to secure deposits of state and other public funds
  • paying of interest on the state's bonded debt and the redeeming of the debt at maturity
  • maintain a safekeeping operation for securities owned by various state agencies, and those securities pledged as collateral to other state agencies;
  • process and distribute all State checks (known as warrants);
  • administer the Business Link and Agricultural Link Programs; and
  • administer the Unclaimed Property Program.


Current incumbent


The mission of the Oklahoma state auditor is to "independently serve the citizens of Oklahoma by promoting accountability and fiscal integrity in state and local government."[8] The specific duties of the auditor are outlined in the constitution:

  • examine the state and all county treasurer's books, accounts and cash on hand or in bank at least twice a year
  • publish a report once each year with the results of those examinations
  • prescribe a uniform system of bookkeeping for the use of all treasurers


Current incumbent

Declared candidates

Lost in primary



Oklahoma Superintendent, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJoy Hofmeister 57.6% 151,124
Brian S. Kelly 21.4% 56,060
Janet Barresi 21% 55,048
Total Votes 262,232
Election Results via Oklahoma State Election Board.
Oklahoma Superintendent, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Cox 41% 68,889
Green check mark transparent.pngFreda Deskin 38.2% 64,135
Jack Herron 13.3% 22,335
Ivan Holmes 7.4% 12,504
Total Votes 167,863
Election Results via Oklahoma State Election Board.


Under Oklahoma statutes, the superintendent of public instruction "is responsible for giving advice and making recommendations to the State Board of Education on all matters pertaining to the policies and administration of the State Department of Education and the public school system."[16] These duties include, but are not limited to:

  • the general administration, coordination, supervision, promotion, evaluation, and improvement of educational programs
  • interpreting and implementing the policies of the State Board of Education
  • coordinating all divisions and supervising employees
  • administering oaths and performing other duties pertinent to the public school system
  • advising district superintendents of schools on questions as to the powers, duties, and functions of the school district officials[16]

Race background

As in other superintendent races across the country, the national debate over the Common Core educational benchmarks inspired many candidates to throw their hat in the ring to challenge the incumbent, Republican Janet Barresi. This issue gained prominence when Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a law repealing Common Core standards in Oklahoma, becoming one of the earliest states to take such a step.[17]

Barresi faced a serious challenge from educator Joy Hofmeister in the primary. While Hofmeister had raised almost $1.5 million by the primary, Barresi only kept pace by loaning over $1.25 million to her campaign.[18][19] Both Barresi and Hofmeister, along with most of the other superintendent candidates in both parties, opposed Common Core and tried to pin its implementation on one another in attack ads.[20] In a debate on June 17 that included Hofmeister and the Democratic candidates, all of the candidates expressed opposition to Common Core and support for a change in educational culture.[21] In total, there were three Republicans and four Democrats contesting the superintendent primaries on June 24.

Hofmeister defeated Barresi in the Republican primary, receiving enough votes to avoid a runoff, and faced Democratic candidate John Cox in the general election.

Primary polling

2014 Republican primary for Oklahoma Superintendent
Poll Janet Costello Barresi Joy HofmeisterBrian S. KellyUnsureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Sooner Poll
May 5-10, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to
2014 Democratic primary for Oklahoma Superintendent
Poll Jack C. Herron Jr. John CoxFreda DeskinIvan HolmesUnsureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Sooner Poll
May 5-10, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Money in the race

For the reporting period of July 1 through September 30, 2013, Republican challenger Hofmeister out raised incumbent Barresi by a margin of $91,853 to $48,850.[22]

Commissioner of Insurance

Current incumbent



Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Doak 77.5% 189,893
Bill Viner 22.5% 55,173
Total Votes 245,066
Election Results via Oklahoma State Election Board.


The duties of the insurance commissioner are outlined in §36-307of the Oklahoma Statutes:

  • responsible for the administration and enforcement of the provisions of the Oklahoma Insurance Code and of any requirements placed on an insurance company pursuant to subsection L of section 1111 of Title 47 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
  • has jurisdiction over complaints against all persons engaged in the business of insurance
  • hears all matters either in person, by authorized disinterested employees, or by hearing examiners appointed by the Commissioner for that purpose.
  • files and safely keeps all books and papers required by law to be filed with the Insurance Department, and keeps and preserves in permanent form a full record of proceedings, including a concise statement of the conditions of such insurers and other entities reported and examined by the Department and its examiners.
  • makes a report to the Governor of the State of Oklahoma of the affairs of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner
  • may educate consumers and make recommendations regarding the subject of insurance in this state
  • shall set forth in a statement the various sums received and disbursed by the Department, from and to whom and for what purpose.
  • shall, upon retiring from office, deliver to the qualified successor all furniture, records, papers and property of the office.[23]

Commissioner of Labor

Current incumbent

Lost in primary


The official powers and duties are outlined in Title 40 of the Oklahoma Statutes:[25]

  1. foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners of this state
  2. improve working conditions of the wage earners
  3. advance opportunities of wage earners for profitable employment; and
  4. carry into effect all laws in relation to labor enacted by the legislature for which responsibility is assigned to the Commissioner of Labor

Corporation Commissioner

Current incumbent


Lost in primary


Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngTodd Hiett 52.2% 128,173
Cliff Branan 47.8% 117,169
Total Votes 245,342
Election Results via Oklahoma State Election Board.


In Article 9, Section 18 of the state constitution, the commission is granted the power and authority to supervise, regulate, and control "all transportation companies doing business" in the state. This regulation can include rates, charges, classification of traffic, and rules and regulations.

According to its FY 2010 annual report snapshot, the corporation commission is responsible for regulating:

  • public utilities (except those under municipal or federal jurisdiction or exempt from regulation)
  • oil and gas drilling, production and environmental protection
  • aspects of motor carrier, rail and pipeline transportation
  • aspects of cotton gins
  • aspects of private water companies
  • the environmental integrity of petroleum storage tank systems
  • the proper operation of fuel dispensing units at retail filling stations[29]

See also


  1. Oklahoma State Election Board Website, "Voter Registration in Oklahoma," accessed January 3, 2014
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Oklahoma State Election Board, "Candidates for Federal, State, Legislative and Judicial Offices," April 14, 2014
  3. Janet Barresi, "Campaign website," accessed January 16, 2013
  4. NewsOK, "Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak seeks re-election," November 7, 2013
  5. News9, "OK Corporation Commission Chairman To Enter US House Race," January 23, 2014
  6. Oklahoma Secretary of State, "2014 Statewide Elections," January 3, 2014
  7., "Inside the Oklahoma state treasurer's office," accessed September 27, 2011
  8., "Agency mission," accessed September 27, 2011
  9. The Ada News, "Cox: ‘Cookie-cutter’ approach doesn’t work in education," August 8, 2013
  10. News9, "Long-Time OK Educator Announces Candidacy For State Superintendent," October 21, 2013
  11. Tulsa World, "State Board of Education member resigns, considers run for state superintendent," April 24, 2013
  12. The Ada News, "Hofmeister announces candidacy for state school superintendent," June 5, 2013
  13. News on 6, "Jack Herron to seek Oklahoma superintendent's job," October 16, 2013
  14. Grand Lake News, "Holmes enters State School Superintendent race," October 23, 2013
  15. Tulsa World, "Donna L. Anderson, Democrat, to run for state superintendent," December 22, 2012
  16. 16.0 16.1, "Oklahoma state department of education: Duties of the state superintendent of public instruction," accessed September 27, 2011
  17. NewsOn6, "Governor Fallin Signs Bill To Repeal, Replace Common Core Standards," June 5, 2014
  18. The Oklahoman, "Challenger for Oklahoma schools superintendent position out-raises opponent in campaign funds," November 2, 2013
  19. NewsOK, "Oklahoma state schools superintendent loans campaign almost $1 million in last month," June 18, 2014
  20. The Oklahoman, "Barresi campaign says rival would deprive Oklahoma children with special needs of education opportunities," June 5, 2014
  21. Tulsa World, "State superintendent candidates, minus Barresi, meet in Owasso forum," June 18, 2014
  22. The Oklahoman, "Challenger for Oklahoma schools superintendent position outraises opponent in campaign funds," November 2, 2013
  23. Oklahoma Statutes, "§36-307: Duties of Insurance Commissioner," accessed September 28, 2011
  24. Facebook, "Workman for Oklahoma Labor Commissioner," accessed August 29, 2013
  25. Oklahoma Statutes, "§40 1. Commissioner of Labor: Powers and duties," accessed September 28, 2011
  26. News9, "OK Corporation Commission Chairman To Enter US House Race," January 23, 2014
  27. Tulsa World, "Todd Hiett announces bid for corporation commission," February 25, 2014
  28. Tulsa World, "State Sen. Cliff Branan to run for Oklahoma Corporation Commission," February 25, 2014
  29., "Oklahoma Corporation Commission: Annual report snapshot FY 2010 (page 3)," accessed September 28, 2011