McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

August 21, 2013

Governor calls election to fill Pittsburg County Commission vacancy

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has issued an executive proclamation calling for a special election in Pittsburg County to elect a new District 3 county commissioner.

The election is to fill the seat left vacant by the Aug. 7 death of Commissioner Ronnie Young. Young was found dead at his McAlester home, apparently of a gunshot wound. His death is under investigation by police.

A filing period for the special election is set for Sept. 9-11 at the Pittsburg County Election Board office at 109 E. Carl Albert Pkwy.

Fallin set a Special Primary Election for Oct. 8. The primary election will be necessary if more than one candidate from a particular political party files for the office. If a primary election is necessary on Oct. 8, then the General Election will be held on Nov. 12.

However, if a Special Primary Election is not necessary — which would be the case if only one Democratic and one Republican candidate filed for the post, for example — then the General Election would be moved up to Oct. 8.

Both Commission Chairman Kevin Smith, who is the District 2 county commissioner, and District 1 Commissioner Gene Rogers said Monday afternoon they were pleased the governor acted quickly to call the special election, which was required by law.

“I’m glad the governor got it done for the public’s benefit and the benefit of employees over there. They’ll have someone to represent the district,” Smith said.

Rogers agreed.

“I think it’s good they’re moving on it pretty quick. We need somebody to take over the reins,” Rogers said.

Both Smith and Rogers say they, as a board, have been handling District 3’s business for the time being. Smith said District 3 Foreman Paul Watkins has been in charge of day-to-day operations.

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