Candidates prepare to line up at the Capitol and one of them is a familiar face in Corporation Commission races

Running for Local Office For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummies



The Oklahoma State Capitol will be a busy place this week as hundreds of candidates for federal, state and legislative offices make their filings with the Oklahoma State Election Board.

The filing period is April 3, 4 and 5, daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One man who intends to be there, like he has for the past few statewide elections, is Harold Spradling of Oklahoma City.

He’ll be 90 later this month and is planning on his fourth attempt at being elected Corporation Commissioner. He filed for the Republican nomination in 2018 against Bob Anthony, 2020 against Todd Hiett and 2022 against Kim David.

He lost each of the primaries. In 2018, he received 60,344 votes or 14.42% while Anthony got 197,385 or 47.16%. Spradling lost again two years later when he ran against Todd Hiett. He still picked up 90,674 votes or 25.41% while Hiett received 266,176 votes or 74.59%. Then two years ago, Spradling made a run against State Sen. Kim David in her bid to become a Corporation Commissioner. He received 41,619 votes or 12.59% while David won with 135,710 votes or 41.06%.

“My family always thought it was a lark, but I’m serious about politics.”

Each time, Spradling, who once dabbled in oil and gas and later was a teacher and traveling minister turned author, did not raise campaign funds and didn’t ask for any contributions. And he remains proud of the votes he received in any of the primary elections. More than 90,000 votes against Todd Hiett.

“It’s really just having a good time.”

When first asked if he would run again, Spradling responded, “Why would I at 90? Unless I feel someone in that office should not be there. I might still run cuz I’m still thinking about it.”

Later in the conversation, Spradling said his wife had encouraged him to run because he tells the truth.

“I’m gonna file on the Democratic ticket,” he finally admitted.

At his age, Spradling feels he has the right to be honest in his assessments of those he runs against, including the three current Corporation Commissioners.

Bob Anthony? Spradling likes the way Anthony doesn’t want to turn over everything to the utilities.

“I like his positions,” he added, explaining he even later helped campaign for Anthony after losing to him.

Todd Hiett? Spradling questions Hiett’s truthfulness on the issues and doesn’t like it that Hiett won’t resign from a bank board while sitting as a Corporation Commissioner handling oil and gas cases possibly tied to bank loans.

Kim David?

“I like her,” answered Spradling. “She was a good senator.”

But he isn’t sure he supports her votes that always seem to side with Hiett.

The state’s only publicly-announced candidate for Corporation Commission is former State Senator Brian Bingman who, as a Republican, has already been endorsed by Gov. Kevin Stitt and Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell. Bingman won’t be getting any support from Spradling.

“I don’t trust Bingman.”