Democrat Derrick Scobey and Republican Maressa Treat have won their respective parties’ nominations in the open race for Oklahoma County clerk and will face off in an April 4 special general election for the post.
With more than 91 percent of precincts reporting, Scobey had about 36 percent support in Tuesday’s five-candidate Democratic primary. Tiffany Ellis (about 23 percent), Sean Cummings (about 22 percent), B.C. Phillips (about 11 percent) and Tom Guild (about 9 percent) were the other candidates.
With the same number of precincts reporting, Treat had earned about 52 percent support, while her opponents, Gloria Banister and Jonathan Clour garnered about 35 percent and about 13 percent, respectively.
There is no runoff election in this race, as it is a special election to fill the vacancy left by David Hooten, who resigned from his post in June after harassment allegations and bizarre statements recorded by an employee became public.
Scobey serves as a pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. He is also a member of the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority, which oversees operations of the county jail. Scobey was appointed to the jail trust in September.
Treat has been involved in politics for more than 20 years, most recently working as Lankford’s finance director and his director of state outreach. She previously worked under a past Oklahoma secretary of energy and at the State Chamber of Oklahoma. Treat’s husband, Greg Treat, serves as Senate president pro tempore in the Oklahoma Legislature.
All results posted by the Oklahoma State Election Board online are unofficial until they are certified by the board.
Scobey drew attention for ‘I’m not liberal’ remark
Both Treat and Scobey have both advocated for government accountability and transparency in their first respective bids for public office.
“I believe that local issues matter,” Treat said in an interview with NonDoc. “I’m a public servant and I want to continue to serve my community in the best way that I can. I’m very good at administrative things and making sure that there are processes in place so that everybody is on the same page and works together as a team.
“I want voters to see that I am a very genuine person with common sense and that I can work with anyone.”
During a January forum that four of the five Democratic candidates for the Oklahoma county clerk post attended, Scobey said he has demonstrated his ability to work with Republicans.
“I am a collaborator, and I bring people together,” Scobey said. “I make things happen. Once I got on the jail trust, we made it happen for the administrator to move on so that we could get something done in a positive way. I think about the collaboration with World Vision. We’ve had to work across the aisles. We’ve had to work with a Republican governor and a Republican United States congresswoman to continue to make things happen. That’s just who I am.”
Last week, drama spurred from a video posted on Facebook in which Scobey spoke about government programs. In the video, Scobey stated that he is “all out” on people “who want to do nothing but think everything is supposed to come their way,” before claiming he is “not liberal.”
The video was filmed from a Scobey livestream and was posted by Mark Faulk, who serves on the People’s Council for Justice Reform alongside Cummings. Faulk asked Democratic voters to consider Scobey’s statement before voting Tuesday.
“And this is coming from a person who grew up on welfare and food stamps. These type of programs, they do work if they are done properly, but I’m all out for anybody who — they don’t want to do nothing. They don’t want to do nothing but they think everything is supposed to come their way. I’m out.” Scobey said. “So, I don’t know what that means. I know this — I know I’m not liberal. I know that. I’m not going to try to ever lie to y’all, and I’m just never going to try to do that. I’m not liberal.”
While Scobey’s statement about not being “liberal” may have been perceived as a negative in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, it could be viewed as a positive by moderate and conservative voters in April’s special general election.
“We all know that this is a nonpartisan office. We all know it, regardless of whether we want to admit it or not,” Scobey said Tuesday night. “Regardless of whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican sitting in the seat, that office needs a person like me to come in and inspire them and first and foremost come in and bring in a sense of calm. I bring people together.”
Treat sent out a statement Tuesday night.
“We are running this campaign with integrity and honesty, which is exactly what I will to bring to this position,” Treat said. “It has been an honor to meet so many Oklahomans in our community and listen to their perspectives about this office. The fact they would take time out of their busy lives to go to the polls and vote for me is humbling and something I don’t take lightly.”