election security
(Mike Allen)

It’s candidate filing time in Oklahoma once again, and this year we’ve got a spicy one on our hands.

The Republican primary for governor got a lot more interesting last week after Joel Kintsel, the current director of the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs, threw his hat into the ring.

Kintsel’s decision confirmed months of rumors that he would make a run for the office and challenge Gov. Kevin Stitt. During those months, Kintsel’s relationship with certain state computers has been a “saga” of sorts — something that might make for good television. In March, he told NonDoc about a cyber security issue his staff members witnessed and reported to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. OMES’ official report suggested that the ODVA staff member potentially moved her mouse by accident or leaned on the CTRL key. Kintsel said, “There is no way in the world that that is what happened.”

Whether Kintsel’s suspicions of computer hacking are true or not, it now seems to play into his platform, as his campaign kickoff has focused on alleging “corruption” and “cronyism” from the current governor’s administration. Will we see more espionage in the campaign ahead? As wild as it would be, it may make for a great watch.

In the meantime, the Oklahoma State Election Board will orchestrate this year’s candidate filing window Wednesday through Friday this week. Information about how to run for public office can be found here.

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