Former House Speaker Todd Hiett will be the newest member of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission after beating term-limited Sen. Cliff Branan in the GOP primary Tuesday.
With all precincts reporting, Hiett had 128,083 votes, or 52 percent. Branan had 117,086, or 48 percent.
Since no Democrats or independents filed for the position, Hiett will take office in January. He will replace Patrice Douglas, who made a runoff in the Republican primary for the 5th Congressional District in central Oklahoma.
“Statewide elections are difficult, but it’s a very gratifying win,” said Hiett, who lost to Democrat Jari Askins in the race for lieutenant governor in 2006. “I think voters in Oklahoma agreed with our message and the need to push back against an overly aggressive federal government.”
Hiett, 46, said it was important to keep utility rates low, not only for customers but for businesses.
“The importance of the Corporation Commission is more significant than ever because the federal government is so driven to make decisions for Oklahoma,” Hiett said.
Branan, 53, said he was impressed with Hiett’s campaign and called to congratulate him about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. It was the first statewide race for Branan, who is term-limited after serving 12 years in the state Senate.