Oklahoma’s State Treasurer will not seek reelection

Oklahoma Politics
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State Treasurer Randy McDaniel

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State Treasurer Randy McDaniel announced he will not seek another term as treasurer.

While McDaniel will not pursue a new term, he will serve the remainder of his term until its scheduled end on Jan. 9, 2023.

“It has been an honor to serve Oklahoma as state treasurer and as a state representative,” McDaniel said. “I am thankful for each opportunity and make this announcement with great appreciation for those who made it possible, especially my loving wife, Julie, and our family. Our children, Grace and John, are now in middle school, and this decision allows me to give priority to family rather than a statewide campaign.”

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State Treasurer Randy McDaniel. Courtesy: Oklahoma.gov

McDaniel said he’s now announcing his decision not to run to give candidates for the office enough time to organize and campaign. He said significant lead time is usually needed for a statewide race.

He was elected in 2018, becoming Oklahoma’s 19th State Treasurer. He won all 77 counties and received nearly 72 percent of the vote.

McDaniel succeeded Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller, who resigned from office early to take a position with energy giant OGE Energy Corp.

“During his tenure, McDaniel has managed the consolidation of the state’s bond financing operations and has overseen major growth in the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan and OK STABLE, a savings and investment program for people with disabilities,” a State Treasurer’s Office news release said. “He won legislative approval this year for a state income tax deduction for contributions to OK STABLE and increased flexibility for the allowable uses of college savings funds.”

McDaniel was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2006 and served 12 years in the House, during which he chaired the Banking, Financial Services and Pensions Committee.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization made up of Conservative state legislators, named McDaniel the nation’s legislator of the year in 2015 for his work on the state’s retirement system.

McDaniel championed bills to get rid of state pensions for a 401(k) savings plan, saying in 2014 that 401(k) plans are more sustainable for the economy.

State employees, including teachers and firefighters, opposed the plan. Tulsa firefighter Jim Long said “a 401(k) is nothing but a savings account; you will outlive a savings account.”

The state government was $16 billion in debt at the time while paying public employee pensions.

“We still have over $11 billion of unpaid obligations,” McDaniel said at the time. “So clearly, that system led us down a path that’s affecting everything else in government.”

McDaniel graduated from the University of Oklahoma and earned a Master’s degree from Cambridge University. He worked as a banker and financial advisor before going into politics. He also served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard for 11 years, attaining the rank of captain.

“My time as state treasurer has been fulfilling and I’ve worked hard to make a difference,” he said. “My predecessors have been supportive. The professional staff in the treasurer’s office has been outstanding, never more evident than during the pandemic. I am proud to serve with them and look toward the future with faith and confidence.”

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