Incumbent Commissioner Bob Anthony’s positive campaign repelled challenger Brooks Mitchell’s jabs in a resounding Corporation Commission victory Tuesday evening.
Final results in the race were not complete until after 11 p.m. Anthony declared victory earlier in the evening and Mitchell had conceded.
At 11:10 p.m., with 1,869 of 1,960 precincts reporting Anthony, 64, of Oklahoma City, had 101,053 votes, 65.01 percent of the total 155,440 votes cast while Mitchell, 51, of Oklahoma City, had 54,387 votes, 34.99 percent of the total.
The unofficial, unverified results in Tuesday’s Republican primary do not include provisional ballot results until after 5 p.m. Friday. They are subject to contest and recount and are neither final nor official until they are so certified by the State Election Board.
Since no Democrat filed for the seat, Anthony will begin his fifth term in January. He will serve a full six-year term. He was first elected to seat two in 1988.
Anthony, who celebrated the victory during his watch party at the Grand House Restaurant, 2701 N. Classen Boulevard, said the margin of victory, an “overwhelming landslide,” shows that positive campaigns can be and are successful in America.
“The real winners in this race are people who want honesty and integrity and ethics and auditing in state government,” Anthony said.
Anthony said he had nothing negative about his opponent in any of his campaign materials. He said this is the way democracy should work, and that his opponent’s wild distortions were not helpful to anyone.
He also thanked voters for their affirming support.
An 11th hour endorsement by former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts failed to lift Mitchell to a victory. Mitchell said he called a couple of numbers he had for Anthony and left messages congratulating him. Elizabeth Anthony said she was using the number for reaching him and she had not heard from Mitchell.
“It was a great experience for me,” Mitchell said of his first run for a statewide office. “Obviously, I’m disappointed that I lost tonight.”
Mitchell said he wanted to thank all of his supporters who helped him during the campaign. Starting tomorrow, he said he plans on doing some certified public accountant work related to tax extensions. Beyond that, he wasn’t sure what he would be doing.
Three commissioners serve six-year terms and vote on all regulatory matters under the Corporation Commission’s jurisdiction. Commissioners Dana Murphy and Patrice Douglas are both Edmond residents. Murphy was elected to seat one in 2008 and re-elected in 2010.
Douglas, who was appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2011 to fill seat three after it was vacated by Jeff Cloud, ran unopposed. She retains her seat until 2015.
In an election pattern established in the state constitution, terms are staggered so one commissioner vacancy occurs every two years. The average tenure is about four years.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is a regulatory agency with emphasis on the fuel, oil and gas, public utilities and transportation industries. It has judicial, legislative and administrative authority.
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