STATE treasurer announces intention to seek third term

Saturday, August 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma's state treasurer has decided to seek a third term.

Robert Butkin, a 48-year-old Democrat, announced his re-election intentions Friday.

Butkin first ran for treasurer in 1994 on a promise to restore honesty and integrity to the management of state money. The previous treasurer's office had been under investigation, and one employee was convicted in federal court.

Butkin was re-elected four years later without opposition.

``It is a rare honor to serve the people of Oklahoma as state treasurer,'' Butkin said. ``While we've been successful in bringing much-needed reforms to the office, our work is not finished.''

If he is re-elected, Butkin said he would continue efforts to cut costs and modernize the treasurer's office.

``We have identified more than 40 additional reforms that we hope to complete within the next five years,'' he said.

Since becoming treasurer, earnings on state investments have topped $500 million, he said. Butkin also helped create the Oklahoma College Savings Plan, which offers tax-free savings to help pay for college.

Butkin said if re-elected, he plans to strengthen the Bank at School program to teach children the importance of good saving and investment habits, to expand programs to help Oklahomans save money through better use of the banking system and to continue modernizing the unclaimed property program.

Before beginning public service, Butkin managed Butkin Oil Co. in Duncan. He also was involved in management and ownership of Citizens Bank of Velma.

Butkin is a former assistant state attorney general. He and his wife, Nina, live in Tulsa and are expecting their first child next month.