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Voters watch Republican candidates for attorney general debate Saturday, June 23, 2018, at the Tower Theatre in Oklahoma City. (Michael Duncan)
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With a high number of races on the ballot for Oklahoma’s Aug. 28 runoff election, NonDoc is working with non-partisan partners Let’s Fix This and Generation Citizen to ensure additional public debates among candidates for important offices.

On Tuesday, Aug. 21, candidates for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission will debate at City Presbyterian Church, 829 N.W. 13th Street in Oklahoma City. With both the state’s Republican Party and Democratic Party featuring runoffs to select their nominees for November, NonDoc has set two Corporation Commission debates to occur one after the other with a 15-minute intermission. The Democrat portion will run from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and the Republican portion will run from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.

However, incumbent Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony’s campaign told NonDoc on Monday that he “declines to participate in your proposed event.”

The Anthony campaign’s decision comes after conversations and negotiations with Anthony and his daughter, Elizabeth, who is managing the 30-year incumbent’s re-election campaign. She requested the flexibility of potentially representing her father at an August debate as she has during the 2018 election at local Republican Party events.

Democrats Ashley Nicole McCray and Blake Cummings have confirmed their participation in the Aug. 21 debate night, as has GOP challenger Brian Bingman. If Anthony stands by his decision and declines to attend, Bingman alone will be asked a series of questions during the Republican portion of the night’s debates, which are open to the public and free to attend.

Anthony has been offered the opportunity to reconsider and participate.

Those interested in the debates can RSVP to and share this Facebook page.

Details: Aug. 21 Corporation Commission debates

In a four-way June 26 Democratic Corporation Commission primary, McCray nearly prevailed outright with 48.8 percent of the vote. Cummings finished second, receiving 22.2 percent.

On the Republican side, Anthony is seeking his sixth six-year term in the office, initially having been elected in 1988. He finished first in the GOP June 26 primary, receiving 47.2 percent of the vote. Bingman, a former president pro tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate, finished second with 38.4 percent.

Thank you to partners and sponsors

NonDoc values our non-partisan debate partners who believe — as we do — that fair political debates are important to democracy. They allow voters to hear candidates answer questions from professional journalists, and they force candidates to discuss their ideas in front of the public, not just in TV, radio or digital advertisements.

Let’s Fix This and Generation Citizen have been key non-partisan partners in all of our 2018 political debates, and City Presbyterian Church has generously offered the use of their facility for the Aug. 21 Corporation Commissioner debates.

But organizing and promoting these debates also features tangible costs — printing, advertising, refreshments, etc. — for organizers. To that end, financial sponsors for these debates are key.

For the Aug. 21 event, the advocacy firm McSpadden, Milner & Robinson has stepped up to support the night of Corporation Commissioner debates as a financial sponsor. Additionally, OG&E is also a sponsor for the debate night.

Other sponsors are still sought in an effort to ensure broad public awareness of the debates. To inquire about sponsorship, simply contact Amy@NonDoc.com.

(Update: This post was updated at 2:40 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, to include a link to the debate night’s Facebook event page and add OG&E as a financial sponsor.)

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