Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: January 17, 2018
Sen. Ron Sharp
Sharp files special election funding legislation
Gov. Mary Fallin called nine special elections last year following
legislators leaving office mid-term. In an effort to protect taxpayer
dollars, Sen. Ron Sharp has filed legislation to use the remaining
campaign funds of departing members to pay for their districts’
“When we run for office, we take an oath to uphold Oklahoma’s
Constitution and serve our constituents faithfully,” said
Sharp, R-Shawnee. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be burdened with
a large special election bill when someone quits midterm to seek
other opportunities or they’re removed from office because
of legal or ethical issues. This bill will remove some of that taxpayer
burden by using members’ remaining campaign funds to cover
some of the costs of special elections.”
Senate Bill 1006 would place the members’ campaign funds in
the State Election Board Revolving Fund up to the amount incurred
by the state for conducting the Special Election.
According to the Oklahoma Election Board, special elections for
the House of Representatives cost, on average, $8,000 to $12,000
for a primary or general and double that amount for both. A Senate
primary or general special election costs an estimated $18,000 to
$22,000 and twice that if both are necessary.
Special elections are called when members resign mid-term, are expelled
by the legislature through a two-thirds vote or are removed from
office because of ethical or legal issues.
After leaving office, any campaign funds not obligated for campaign
or officeholder expenses can be retained for future campaigns (for
the next succeeding term for the same office or for a different
state elective office, excluding a judicial office), donated to
a charitable organization, returned to any contributor in the amount
they donated, contributed to a political party committee up to $25,000
or used to purchase item(s) to donate to a charitable organization.
Members may also donate leftover funds directly to the state as
well as any county, city, town or school district.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Sharp: (405) 521-5539