Oklahoma Corporation Commission Chairman Patrice Douglas will step down from a leadership post at the commission to focus on her campaign for Congress.
Douglas will remain a commissioner but will become vice chairman of the commission, with longtime Commissioner Bob Anthony taking over as chairman. The changes are effective March 1.
Douglas announced last month she plans to run for the 5th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, who is running for U.S. Senate.
“I remain completely committed to my service as corporation commissioner, but the role of chairman requires a lot of additional focus, with many more duties than those of a commissioner,” Douglas said in a statement. “I have greatly enjoyed serving in that role, but since I have announced my campaign for Congress, I think it’s only fair to the people of Oklahoma that I step back and allow one of my fellow commissioners to serve as chairman.”
Douglas was elected chairman by her fellow commissioners in August 2012. Douglas said her background in banking and business was helpful as chairman in streamlining processes to save money at the commission, which regulates everything from oil and gas and utilities to trucking and cotton gins.
Douglas said she will work with Anthony on the leadership transition at the commission.
“Commissioner Anthony has a great depth of knowledge and experience when it comes to the issues before the commission,” Douglas said. “I look forward to working with him to ensure the smoothest possible transition.”
Douglas has been on the commission since 2011, when Gov. Mary Fallin appointed her to fill an unexpired term vacated by former Commissioner Jeff Cloud. Douglas, a Republican, did not draw an opponent in the 2012 elections. Her terms ends in January 2015.
State Sen. Cliff Branan, R-Oklahoma City, earlier this month said he planned to run for a six-year term on the three-member Corporation Commission.