Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony secured a fifth term Tuesday in a Republican primary for the regulatory panel that covers oil and gas drilling, trucking and utilities.
Anthony took 65 percent of the vote, compared to 35 percent for challenger Brooks Mitchell, according to unofficial results from the state Election Board. The vote tally was 108,565 for Anthony and 58,854 for Mitchell.
Anthony, 64, was first elected in 1988. Former commission administrator Mitchell, 51, was making his first run for statewide office.
No Democrats filed for the post, so Anthony will remain the country's longest-serving utility commissioner. During the campaign, Mitchell repeatedly called his opponent a “career politician.”
“What citizens in Oklahoma care about is somebody who can get the work done,” Anthony said Tuesday night. “They want state officials they can trust, and those considerations have primacy over any concerns they might have over ‘career politicians.' The people didn't buy it. The people were looking to other considerations. I emphasized a reputation for honesty and integrity.”
Mitchell said he hoped to pick off undecided primary voters in the closing days of the campaign and bring them over to his camp.
“There's been precedent for that in a low-turnout race for the challenger, and it just didn't happen today,” Mitchell said. “He ran a good campaign; hats off to him.”