Governor, Lieutenant Governor Would Run Together

Thursday, February 15th 2007, 5:33 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Candidates for Oklahoma's top two executive positions would run for the offices on a single political ticket under a proposal that was narrowly approved by a state House committee.

The plan, approved 5-to-4 by the state House Rules Committee Wednesday, would schedule a statewide referendum on a plan to have governors and lieutenant governors run for their respective offices as a team instead of separately as is done in 18 states nationwide.

The bill's author is Republican Representative Gary Banz.

Banz, a former federal government teacher at Midwest City High School, says the idea for the bill was born when his students asked why Oklahoma elected its top executives differently than in the federal system, in which the president and vice president run on the same ticket.

Banz says conducting separate elections can create conflicts between the top two executives, even if they are members of the same party.

He says the current system was adopted at statehood 100 years ago when Oklahoma was a more populist state.