Tulsa County Sheriff Candidate Agrees To Changes In Controversial TV Ad

Wednesday, June 22nd 2016, 7:16 am
By: News On 6

One of the candidates for Tulsa County Sheriff has agreed to change the words - but not the message - of a recent campaign commercial.  

Republican candidate Luke Sherman's campaign released a statement early Wednesday saying he met with the Tulsa World newspaper Tuesday. After that meeting, he agreed to add two words and change a graphic in a recent attack TV advertisement against current Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado.

In Sherman's ad, which started airing just recently, Sherman cites the Tulsa World, which reported some of Regalado's donors are being investigated by the state's Attorney General for possible illegal campaign donations.  

In the commercial, the narrator says Vic Regalado is under investigation.

In a news release early Wednesday, Sherman defended it, saying "'there is no campaign without a candidate, and there are no donors without a campaign."

"Sgt. Luke Sherman, GOP Candidate for Tulsa County Sheriff, wants to clarify the details of his conversation with Tulsa World editors as detailed in an article posted on the newspaper's website.  Editors met with Luke Sherman and his staff on June 21st after the Tulsa World inquired about a Sherman for Sheriff commercial which cited the TW as a source of information.

"I stand by my integrity and the message of my campaign ad," Luke Sherman says. "Tulsa World editors sat with me and my team Tuesday afternoon while we collaborated on changes to the wording of my commercial.  I listened carefully to their concerns and, while I still believe in the message my ad delivers, I agreed to make certain changes because of my respect for the Tulsa World. This was a joint effort with the editors to craft my message in a way that made everyone comfortable."

The television commercial, which referenced the Attorney General's investigation into the Regalado campaign, first aired this week.  Tulsa World editors expressed concern about the fine line between a candidate, his campaign staff, and his donors.

"There is no campaign without a candidate and there are no donors without a campaign," says Sherman.  "We would not be having this conversation but for the fact my opponent solicited, accepted, and spent the questionable donations now under investigation by the Attorney General."

Sherman adds that law enforcement leaders should be held to a high standard of accountability.

"To me, the candidate is accountable for all facets of the campaign. Judging from his deflections of the serious allegations against him, my opponent clearly has a different set of values than I do.  I believe a true leader is accountable for decisions of his team.  The intention of my ad was, and still is, to point out the irrefutable fact that Oklahoma's Attorney General is investigating allegations of straw donations to his campaign."

Sherman agreed to the Tulsa World editor's request to temporarily pull the commercial, add two words to the script, change one graphic, then resume airing the ad once those changes are made.  The Tulsa World agreed that would be an acceptable resolution."

Sheriff Vic Regalado says Sherman's commercial is completely untrue and Sherman's campaign is running a false and negative campaign. 

6/20/2016 Related Story: Tulsa County Sheriff Candidate Luke Sherman Defends Ad Against Regalado

A spokesperson for the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office would neither confirm nor deny they are investigating donations made to Regalado's campaign, saying they don't typically release that information.

The primary election is Tuesday, June 28.