Scott Pruitt announces leader of A.G. transition

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 08-Nov-2010

Attorney general-elect Scott Pruitt, has announced Michael J. Hunter as head of his transition team in preparation to take office.

Hunter most recently served as the 47th secretary to the Commissioners of the Land Office and comes with an extensive background in Oklahoma public service.

His experience includes time as secretary of state under Frank Keating’s administration, chief of staff to J.C. Watts, a member of the state legislature and was the 1994 Republican candidate for attorney general.

Pruitt, who expressed deep respect for Hunter’s leadership said, “I am honored to have Mike’s leadership and experience to guide this process.  He will be an invaluable part of this transition, and brings a wealth of knowledge about the role and responsibilities of the attorney general’s office. Mike also has the conservative credentials that fit the principles I will embody as attorney general.”

Pruitt also said he spoke with General Edmondson earlier this week and was grateful for the pledge of support and transition space that has been offered by Edmondson.

Hunter followed by saying, “We have a great deal of work to accomplish over the next two months. General Edmondson and his staff have been very accommodating, and as such, we look forward to a smooth transition.”

Hunter has also served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). He managed the organization’s $47 million budget and 135 member staff. The ACLI is the advocacy, legal and research arm of the life insurance industry.

Gov. Keating appointed Hunter as the 29th secretary of state of Oklahoma in 1999. In addition to his duties as secretary, Hunter served as the governor’s chief liaison to the Oklahoma Legislature, the state judiciary and to the state’s federal delegation in Washington, DC. 
During his tenure as chief of staff to congressman J. C. Watts, his position involved the management of the office in Washington, DC and district offices of Norman and Lawton. He also served as legal counsel to Watts in his work on the National Security and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.

From 1984 to 1990, Hunter served as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. While in the legislature, he served as chairman of the Republican caucus and vice chairman of the criminal justice committee. In 1998, he was the recipient of the Oklahoma District Attorneys’ Legislative Appreciation Award for his work in criminal justice.

In 1994, Hunter was the Republican nominee for attorney general. 
Hunter maintained a private legal practice from 1982 to 1992.

In 1992, he received the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory’s highest rating for attorneys. His areas of specialization are in energy, real property, public employment law and utility regulation.

In 1993 and 1994, Hunter served as general counsel of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the state regulatory authority for public utilities, oil and gas, transportation and pipelines.