ONLY one statewide office is on the ballot this year. It will be decided June 26 in the Republican primary. GOP voters will determine who holds an Oklahoma Corporation Commission seat for the next six years because no Democrat filed for the seat.
The office of corporation commissioner often flies under the radar, but it's one of the most powerful positions in state government. The commission's regulatory authority affects up to 20 percent of gross state product. Its potential impact on citizens is enormous.
Incumbent Bob Anthony is seeking a fifth six-year term. His challenger, Brooks Mitchell, is a former commission administrator. On balance, The Oklahoman believes Anthony is the better choice in this contest.
Anthony is a former president of the C.R. Anthony Co., a heritage Oklahoma family business. He thus has real-world experience often lacking in government, augmented by degrees from the Wharton School of Finance and the London School of Economics.
In office, Anthony has been a vocal critic of federal Environmental Protection Agency edicts that could result in draconian rate increases for electric power users. He has vigorously defended hydraulic fracturing in the face of sustained attacks from radical environmentalists, correctly seeing energy independence as a good thing. He has worked to address transmission problems in the electric grid through his efforts with the Southwest Power Pool, and has supported innovations such as smart electricity meters.