Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 11, 2013
Sen. Susan Paddack
Senate approves bill require candidates to disclose criminal background
The full Senate has given unanimous approval to a measure aimed
at making sure voters know if someone filing for office has a criminal
background. Senate Bill 287, by Sen.
Susan Paddack, would require additional information on the declaration
of candidacy forms. She said currently, application forms for positions
appointed by the Governor require far more information than forms
required for those seeking public office.
“A citizen seeking gubernatorial appointment for a board or
commission has to fill out an in-depth four page questionnaire asking
if they’ve ever been investigated or had complaints filed
with local, state or federal law enforcement, if they’ve ever
been arrested and how it was resolved,” said Paddack, D-Ada.
“But if you are running for office, the form doesn’t
ask much more than a candidate’s name, address, age and what
office they’re seeking. I think the public has a right know
if that candidate has been in trouble with the law.”
Under SB 287, the declaration of candidacy form would require office-seekers
to disclose if they’d ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor
offense or if they were currently named in an outstanding warrant
for arrest in any state. They would also be required to disclose
additional information about any convictions or warrants.
“Those who seek and serve in elected office are held to a
higher standard, as they should be,” Paddack said. “They
have a position of power in our communities and our state, and they
have the responsibility of making and enforcing the rules and laws
all of us must follow. Because of this position of power and trust,
I believe it is in the public’s interest to know from the
start whether a candidate is a law-abiding citizen or whether they
have a criminal record.”
SB 287 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Paddack: (405) 521-5541