Maressa Treat elected
Maressa Treat visits with residents of a senior citizens center in Midwest City during the week of March 26, 2023. (Provided)

Republican Maressa Treat won a close race over Democrat Derrick Scobey to fill the unexpired term of Oklahoma County clerk.

Treat, a longtime political operative, received 21,994 votes, or 51.9 percent. Scobey, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, won 20,414 votes, or 48.1 percent.

Scobey garnered most of the early vote, winning the absentee ballot count, 2,098 to 1,745, and early voting, 634 to 374. He also led during much of today’s returns, with Treat pulling out a victory when results from cities surrounding the Oklahoma City metro area were tabulated.

Treat, the wife of State Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat (R-OKC), won the Election Day tally, 19,875 to 17,684.

The state’s online election results are unofficial until they are certified by the Oklahoma State Election Board.

According to the results, 44,410 voters cast ballots in the county clerk’s race, the only countywide race in Oklahoma County on Tuesday. Turnout was much higher than the Feb. 14 primary. In the primary, where Treat bested two other GOP candidates and Scobey beat four other Democrats, only 28,361 people voted.

“I am humbled that the citizens of Oklahoma County have voted for me to serve as their next county clerk,” Treat said in an emailed statement. “I pledge to bring honor, integrity and transparency to this office, while improving the overall working conditions for those who will be serving Oklahomans with me on a day-to-day basis. The County Clerk’s Office is a vital function of state and local government, where attention to detail and a strong work ethic are key to making the office a better place for those who rely on the services being provided. I plan to bring energy and vision to this office starting on day one.”

Treat endorsed by leading Oklahoma Republicans

Maressa Treat will fill the unexpired term of David Hooten, who resigned from his post in June after harassment allegations and bizarre statements recorded by an employee became public. Treat has said that, if elected, she would run for a full four-year term in 2024.

Scobey had a strong showing, despite Treat having raised more than twice the amount of money in campaign contributions. Through March 30, Treat reported raising more than $227,000 in campaign contributions, while Scobey reported raising about $104,000 through the same time period.

Few voters really understand the duties of a county clerk, and it’s common for people to confuse or conflate the county clerk and the county court clerk, another position elected in all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties.

Among additional duties, the county clerk serves as secretary for the Board of County Commissioners and other county boards. The county clerk is also the registrar of deeds and custodian of records, and they perform accounting, administrative and bookkeeping duties for the county. The position records and maintains county proceedings and votes.

Treat has been involved in politics for more than 20 years, most recently working as U.S. Sen. James Lankford’s (R-OKC) 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.

Both candidates, seeking public office for the first time, received endorsements from leaders in their respective parties.

In addition to receiving an endorsement from her former boss, Lankford, Treat has received the backing of U.S. Sen. Markwayne Mullen. Similarly, Gov. Kevin Stitt and Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell have endorsed her. Among Oklahoma County officials, she has received the endorsements of Sheriff Tommie Johnson III, Treasurer Butch Freeman, Assessor Larry Stein and Commissioners Brian Maughan and Myles Davidson.

She also was endorsed from her primary election challengers: Gloria Banister and Jonathan Clour.

Scobey said he received help from two former governors. Former Gov. Brad Henry did a telephone recording asking voters to support Scobey and former Gov. David Walters allowed Scobey’s campaign to post signs on several of his properties.

In September, Scobey was also appointed as a member of the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority, which oversees operations of the county jail.

Treat worked as a proponent for some of Oklahoma’s largest and most important industries while she was employed at the State Chamber of Oklahoma. She has served on several local nonprofit boards and committees. She is a board member of the YWCA, where she said she works to give a voice to victims of domestic violence.

“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.”