On Tuesday evening The Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, Ardmore Young Professionals and the Greater Ardmore Leadership Alumni hosted a forum discussing the five state questions and one county question that will be on the ballot on Nov. 6. Speakers on both sides of the issues being addressed were invited to present their positions to help voters make an informed decision on Tuesday.
The Vice President of Public Affairs for the State Chamber of Oklahoma, Cordon Dekock, talked about SQ 798. This measure, if approved, would amend the state
constitution to establish a joint ticket for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor beginning in 2026. This question, along with questions 800 and 801, were the result of an initiative put forth by the state chamber.
“The Lt. Governor’s office is incredibly weak,” Dekock said. The duties of that office include being the ceremonial president of the State Senate, the chair of the tourism and recreation commission, the vice chair of the state board of equalization and sitting on numerous other boards.
He went on to say that the governor’s office itself is rather weak with most of its powers being “very much informal.”
“By aligning these two, it allows the top two offices in the state of Oklahoma to have shared goals, a shared vision for our state and to be able to work together in order to carry out the goals that voters entrust them with,” Dekock said.
Dekock said that there was no formal opposition to the question but addressed some of the question’s most common criticisms.
One criticism is that there is no process currently in place for selecting the lt. governor. Dekock pointed out that’s because it will not take effect until 2026 and the state legislature will have eight years to determine the process.
“Realistically, that’s only a matter of whether the candidate would pick their running mate in April or September — the time they file to be on the ballot or the time they become the official Republican, Democrat or Libertarian nominee,” Dekock said.
“The other point that has been raised is that voters have been doing a good job of vetting for lt. governor and this would be taking away from that,” Dekock said. He and the State Chamber believe this is not the case and will instead improve the overall effectiveness of the state government.