OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Election Board ruled unanimously Monday that current Oklahoma House Rep. Sean Roberts cannot use the nickname, Sean “The Patriot” Roberts on the ballot in his run for State Labor Commissioner.
Incumbent labor commissioner, Leslie Osborn originally petitioned to have him taken off the ballot.
However, the election board did not rule that he would be taken off. They only ruled he had to amend his name.
“I’m not surprised they ruled I had to change my name,” Roberts said after the ruling. “I disagree with that assessment. Back in my area, in the grassroots, I’m generally known as the patriot.”
“It was all about ballot integrity,” Osborn said after the ruling. “For somebody to pick a nickname just a couple of weeks ago and say it’s something you’ve been generally known as, which was the actual state standard, didn’t seem fair and it seemed like that might be a gimmick.”
Former attorney general Mike Hunter represented Osborn in the hearing.
He said the nickname’s not consistent with ballot integrity. He used Oklahoma administrative code to say Roberts is “not generally known by that name.”
“We just believe in election integrity,” Osborn said.
Hunter added that it was Roberts’ campaign slogan.
He called two current House Representatives – Chris Kannady, R-Oklahoma City, and Gary Mize, R-Guthrie – to the stand as witnesses.
They both stated they have never heard Roberts be called that name.
Hunter also brought up the point that Roberts has not used that name in the previous seven elections.
“I believe that what they believe as far as me being the patriot and what I’ve done up here at the capitol fighting for their freedoms, pushing legislation that will maintain our freedom especially the second amendment are true,” Roberts said.
Roberts said he’s been known by that name for years. He claimed around 200 to 600 people know him by that name.
In the hearing, Roberts’ team provided a birthday card from someone who said he was truly “The Patriot.”
They also called current U.S. Senate candidate Jackson Lahmeyer to the stand, who claimed he also knows Roberts by “The Patriot.”
“She did not win her case,” Roberts said. “She wanted me off the ballot and I am still on the ballot. So, I look at this as a victory.”
Roberts amended his name after the ruling was made.
“We look forward to the contest,” Osborn said.
The board also ruled that Roberts is forced to pay the fees for the hearing.
Roberts said his team is also discussing an filing an appeal of the decision.