Rep. Condit promotes non-partisan ballots for county sheriffs
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Published: 05-Feb-2015

OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure that would make county sheriff elections nonpartisan was endorsed Wednesday by a state legislative committee.

House Bill 1097 by Rep. Donnie Condit, D-McAlester, received a “do-pass” recommendation on a 5-2 vote by the House Committee on Elections and Ethics. Now the bill will be placed on the calendar for consideration by the entire 101-member House of Representatives.

Starting next year, “elections for the office of county sheriff shall be conducted on a nonpartisan basis,” HB 1097 provides.

If more than two candidates filed for the office, and if no candidate received more than 50% of the votes cast during the primary election, the names of the two candidates who received the most votes in the primary would appear on the general election ballot. If only two candidates filed for the office, both contenders would meet in the general election.

The Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association has supported similar proposals in the past, said Condit, vice chairman of the Elections and Ethics Committee.

The third-term legislator said he was prompted to file HB 1097 by some constituents “who told me a sheriff candidate’s political affiliation has nothing to do with whether that person is capable of enforcing the law.”

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