The Edmond Sun

February 18, 2014

Douglas leaves chairman’s seat for 5th District run

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

OKLA. CITY — Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas resigned Tuesday as chairman of the Corporation Commission to focus on her Republican primary campaign for the 5th Congressional District.

The commission voted Tuesday morning to accept Douglas’ resignation and elected her to serve as vice chairman. Commissioner Bob Anthony accepted the chairmanship role after a vote by the commission.

“I remain completely committed to my service as a Corporation Commissioner, but the role of chairman requires a lot of additional focus, with many more duties than those of a commissioner,” said Douglas, 51. “I have greatly enjoyed serving in that role, but since I have announced my campaign for Congress, I think it is only fair to the people of Oklahoma that I step back and allow one of my fellow commissioners to serve as chairman.”

Douglas said she is confident in Anthony’s ability to serve as chairman, and that she will work for a smooth transition.

While chairman, Douglas focused on instilling private-sector principles to the commission. An agency-wide strategic plan was completed and implemented for the first time, she said.

Efficiencies were introduced by the commission to streamline processes and save taxpayer dollars. Auditing processes were enacted with additional safeguards for funds managed by the agency.

The 2014 political season for candidates running for the Congressional 5th District gained momentum when Congressman James Lankford, R-Edmond, announced in January that he will run for the U.S. Senate.

Other Republicans vying for the 5th District include state Sen. Clark Jolley, 43, of Edmond, and state Rep. Shane Jett, 39, of Tecumseh. Jett was one of several Republicans who competed for the office in 2010 primary race. Former state Sen. Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, is also a candidate.

Democratic contenders for the 5th District include state Sen. Al McAffrey, 65, of Oklahoma City; retired University of Oklahoma professor Tom Guild, 59, of Edmond; Keith Davenport of Oklahoma City, and retired DHS child welfare specialist Marilyn Rainwater of Seminole.

Former Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth, 45, has said he is open for running for the congressional seat and has formed an exploratory committee.

Candidate filing for 2014 statewide elections is set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 9-11 at the state Capital. Voters will nominate their party’s candidates June 24 for the statewide primary election. A run-off primary election is set for Aug. 26. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 4.