OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – What’s in a name? Apparently enough for Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Leslie Osborn to file a petition to have her opponent taken off the ballot.
Her petition is against current Oklahoma House Rep. Sean Roberts, who filed to run against her with his name on the ballot as ‘Sean The Patriot Roberts’.
Osborn said in the petition that she feels is misdirects and misleads voters.
With the Oklahoma candidate filing period having come and gone, Osborn is petitioning to have Roberts’ name taken off the ballot completely.
“I believe the petition speaks for itself. My real objection as a public servant who has stood for election seven times is the integrity of the ballot, in a day and time when election fraud is a huge issue, we believe Mr. Roberts should follow the rules and quit trying to deceive the voters.”Leslie Osborn, Oklahoma Labor Commissioner
Attorney Ed Blau said there is a provision of Oklahoma Administrative Code that may prohibit the nickname from being on the ballot.
“It’s going to be really difficult for him to have The Patriot on the ballot,” Blau said.
In the petition, Osborn cited that same provision where it states a “candidate who is generally known by or who does business using a nickname, birth name, or any name other than his or her legal name may choose to appear on the ballot by providing that name…”
“This provision of the administrative code means that if somebody’s name is Michael, but they go by Mike, Mike can be on the ballot or Jonathan and John,” Blau said. “It does not allow for open season for whatever somebody wants to be called.”
People have run in the past with nicknames before. You just can’t use someone else’s name per state law. People like Virginia ‘Blue Jeans’ Jenner in the past, and ‘Bulldog’ Ben Robinson is running as an independent for U.S. Congress in the upcoming election.
“It has to be challenged and sometimes if it’s a race where the winner is going to be obvious, it may not be worth it,” Blau said.
Osborn also states that Roberts is not someone that is “generally known by or does business using…” that name.
She claims in the past seven elections, he has appeared on the ballot as just Kevin Sean Roberts, or Sean Roberts.
Roberts fired back in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
He stated that Osborn wants this because “she knows she will lose the election.” He also claimed that voters are upset with “her liberal ideology and poor management of the OK Department of Labor.”
He and his team plan to fight against the petition and try to keep the nickname on the ballot.
“It’s going to be very difficult for him to straight face this is truly his nickname and that he needs to run under when he hasn’t done it before,” Blau said.
KFOR reached out to Roberts’ office for comment but did not get a response.
News 4 also reached out to the State Election Board who told us it would be inappropriate for Secretary Paul Ziriax to comment, being a nonvoting officer that could be dealing with a hearing on the situation – that hearing is set for Monday, April 25.