Campaign funds would pay for some Oklahoma special elections

Campaign funds would pay for some Oklahoma special elections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A Republican state senator has filed a bill to take leftover campaign funds from some state lawmakers who resign, in order to offset the cost of special elections to replace them.

The bill by Sen. Ron Sharp of Shawnee would send the resigning lawmaker's remaining campaign funds to the state election board in order to help pay for the election to replace the lawmaker. The bill would not apply to campaign funds of a lawmaker who dies in office.

Sharp said nine special elections in the past year to replace either Senate or House members cost an estimated $8,000 to $12,000 for House seats and $18,000 to $22,000 per Senate seat.

In the past year three lawmakers have resigned amid sex scandals, one resigned after being charged with embezzlement, four others left for business opportunities and one died in office.

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