Corporation Commission candidate seeks transparency, public access
Editor's note: This article is the third installment in a series of articles about candidates running for Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner in the June 26 primary. Harold Spradling is one of three Republicans running for the office. Bob Anthony and Brian Bingman were featured in an article that ran June 3. Spradling did not respond to requests for comment in time to be included in that article.
After a career as a pastor, teacher and counselor, Harold Spradling decided to run for office because he was concerned about the tone of politics, particularly in Washington.
"I've been so angry with what's happening in Washington, D.C.," Spradling said. "I decided why don't I run for office myself and show them you can be honest and clean and not vindictive and not mean."
Despite running to replace Bob Anthony on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Spradling had only praise for the incumbent.
"Bob Anthony is a man I greatly admire," he said. "My complaint is not about Bob Anthony. I'd like to work alongside him. I don't have anything against him."
Still, Spradling said his independence would help him serve as a corporation commissioner.
"I'm 84 years old. I'm not hungry financially, and my kids are well established," he said. "I don't have to accept gifts or corruption."
Spradling said he is the oldest person to run for office in Oklahoma this year.
"If I'm elected, serve six years and get reelected to another term, I'll be an old man when it's over," he said. "But I'd be serving the people, and that's what I want to do."
Spradling said he is not afraid of big changes and taking on new challenges. When Spradling was 55, he went back to school and received a master's degree in education from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva.
"I will be encouraging any older person to not give up," he said. "I've never been afraid to start anything new. I think a lot of older people should be inspired to not give up. Don't be afraid to start."
If elected, Spradling said, he would work to make Corporation Commission more transparent, opening to the public all meetings with regulated companies.
"Every time there's a meeting and discussion with a company, then an outsider, an ordinary citizen, should be able to sit in on those closed-door meetings," he said.