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Recount of Oklahoma County sheriff votes halted in its first day

Republican challenger Darrell Sorrels asked for a manual recount of all votes cast in the Nov. 6 election, but after gaining only one net vote in 14 precincts counted he asked to discontinue the recount.

BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Published: November 15, 2012
/articleid/3728665/1/pictures/1884653">Photo - Dale L. Phillips  President, Old Surety Life Insurance, funded the recount of the Oklahoma County sheriff’s race.
Dale L. Phillips President, Old Surety Life Insurance, funded the recount of the Oklahoma County sheriff’s race.

Dale Phillips is listed as a president at Old Surety and an owner of Enterprise Investments.

He is a former delegate for Ron Paul. He wore a T-shirt supporting the conservative presidential candidate at a health care rally at the Capitol in July.

Phillips, 70, described himself as an “extremely conservative” Christian business owner in a profile for The Oklahoman in 2010.

Records indicate Phillips donated $5,000, the maximum allowed, to the Sorrels campaign. Phillips declined to speak with a reporter who visited his office Wednesday.

“Our belief is that the recount is an extension of the campaign, and if it’s an extension of the campaign then the same limitations apply,” Hall said.

State law prohibits corporations from contributing to political campaigns, and Hall said he will ask the Oklahoma Ethics Commission to settle the question.

Marilyn Hughes, the commission’s executive director, said a corporate contribution to a recount effort is not against the law because the money was not used to sway an election.

“But she just made a quick, arbitrary decision and didn’t have all the facts,” Hall said. “The election board may not have known, but they should not have accepted the money and there shouldn’t have been a recount today.”

Deposit funds not spent to support the recount — including the payment of counters, deputies and board members — will be returned to Sorrels, said Sanderson, the election board secretary.

He estimated Wednesday’s effort cost about $2,500.

CONTRIBUTING: Nolan Clay, staff writer

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