The four candidates seeking the Republican nomination and the two candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in the 2022 Oklahoma County district attorney race have agreed to participate in a pair of debates hosted by NonDoc and News 9 on Wednesday, June 15.
The debate night — titled Subpoena Power — is open to the public and will be held at the UCO Liberal Arts Building, 100 N. University Drive, in Edmond (the Liberal Arts building is on the east side of campus near the corner of Baumann Avenue and Hurd Street). The GOP candidate debate featuring Kevin Calvey, Jacqui Ford, Gayland Gieger and Robert Gray will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will last about an hour. The Democratic candidate portion of the evening will begin around 6:45 p.m.
Tres Savage of NonDoc and Storme Jones of News 9 will serve as moderators. The debate will be live-streamed on News 9’s website and Facebook page, as well as NonDoc’s Facebook page. UCentral Media and Oklahoma Gazette are partners in the debate night, with UCO journalism students leading an effort to fact check candidates following their comments in the debates. To be reminded of the night’s livestreams, you can RSVP to this Facebook event page.
All six candidates are vying to replace current Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, who is not running for reelection. The primary election will be held Tuesday, June 28.
Four seek GOP nomination
Kevin Calvey is a former state legislator and current District 3 Oklahoma County commissioner. He also is a member of the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority, better known as the jail trust, where he has advocated for the construction of a new $297 million jail. Calvey has said that, if elected Oklahoma County’s DA, he would dismiss the manslaughter charges against five Oklahoma City police officers who shot and killed 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez at the conclusion of an attempted armed robbery.
Jacqui Ford has worked as a criminal defense lawyer for 15 years, according to her campaign website. In June, Ford switched parties from Democrat to Republican. If elected Ford said she would work to rebuild relationships with agencies that work with the DA’s Office and would bring skills as a litigator and educator to the office. Court diversion projects, reducing women’s incarceration and protecting seniors are some of her other priorities.
Gayland Gieger has worked in the Oklahoma County district attorney’s office since 1999, according to his campaign website. He was the lead prosecutor in the case former OKC police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting women while on duty as a police officer. Gieger has also served as lead prosecutor in the DA’s Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Unit and has tried more than 200 cases during his time as an assistant DA.
Robert Gray has worked at a private law practice for the last 12 years after starting his legal career in the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office. Gray grew up in Edmond and later attended the University of Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City University where he earned his law degree. He believes the county’s most pressing issues are violent crime, mental health and drug and alcohol addiction.
Two seek Democratic nomination
Vicki Behenna is currently an attorney with Behenna, Goerke, Krahl and Meyer, a law firm in Oklahoma City. Prior to that, she served as a federal prosecutor for 25 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma. Her family made national news when her son, Michael, was convicted of murder in a military court and sentenced to 25 years. He was later released on parole and granted clemency by then-President Donald Trump in 2018. She has been the recipient of numerous awards in the legal sphere, including the Distinguished Service Award and Outstanding U.S. Attorney in 2012.
Mark Myles is an Oklahoma City attorney who previously ran for attorney general in 2018 and for the U.S. Senate in 2010. In a statement announcing his intent to run for DA, Myles said he would be an “advocate for justice, fairness and accountability in the criminal justice system.” Myles has also served as a prosecutor and defense attorney working with victims of domestic violence and other crimes.
NonDoc’s 2022 debate series
NonDoc’s debate series is supported by financial sponsors like the State Chamber of Oklahoma, AARP Oklahoma, McSpadden, Milner & Robinson, Overman Legal Group, the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS and the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center.
Other debates are being held by NonDoc, including:
- Regulation Conversation: A Republican primary debate for Corporation Commission (June 7)
- Law School: A Republican primary debate for attorney general (June 16)
- Congressional Confessional: A Republican primary debate for CD 2 (June 20)
- Roll Call: A Republican primary debate for state superintendent (June 22)