For Immediate Release: March 3, 2015
Contact: Dave Weston, Chairman OKGOP
(Oklahoma City)—Oklahoma House Bill 1097 (HB 1097) passed out of committee last Thursday which proposes to change the partisan nature of sheriffs’ election in Oklahoma.
Responding the news, the Executive Committee of the Oklahoma Republican Party, without opposition, recommended that House members vote down the bill. HB 1097, sponsored by Rep. Condit (D), proposes that sheriffs’ elections be made non-partisan.
OKGOP Chairman Dave Weston explained, “This may seem harmless on the surface, however making sheriffs’ elections non-partisan withholds valuable information from voters. Given the nature of public safety and on-going debates about gun rights, voters have a right to assess the issue positions any candidate for sheriff holds before entrusting them with their duties.”
“For example, a candidate’s political affiliation gives voters insight into his or her stance on these important issues. For instance, if the government moved to curtail Second Amendment rights, voters have a right to know if their elected official is affiliated with the party that is going to fight to uphold that right (Republican) or go along with government mandates (Democrat),” continued Weston.
The bill is expected to be among several election-related regulations that will come to the House floor in the next month. The Oklahoma Republican Party has maintained a high-level of involvement in the debate on these bills given their impact on how political parties in Oklahoma support candidates and engage voters.