The State Election Board allows a candidate for labor commissioner to remain on the ballot, but ordered his nickname removed.
“I’m generally known as ‘the patriot,'” candidate Sean Roberts said Monday.
The State Election Board voted unanimously to unplug the Patriot party, but decided to allow Sean Roberts to remain on the statewide ballot.
“Representative Roberts,” outgoing labor commissioner attorney Leslie Osborn said during the two-hour hearing. “Is it okay if I call you Rep Roberts?”
Osborn was represented by former Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter in his first public appearance since stepping down from office in a mid-2021 sex scandal.
“The use of a campaign slogan as part of your name is inconsistent with the integrity of the ballot,” Hunter told the three-member State Election Board.
A lawyer for Roberts presented a birthday card and a patriot award from the state’s Second Amendment association to prove his nickname.
“Happy 46th old man. I’m glad our paths crossed,” Roberts began reading the card that featured a cat on the cover.
A Republican candidate for the US Senate supported his nickname.
“I’ve heard many people call him ‘the patriot,'” Jackson Lahmeyer said.
Roberts himself said that between 200 and 600 people knew him by his nickname.
Two fellow Republican Representatives said they had never heard of it.
“Just today, when asked to spell ‘patriot,’ Rep. Roberts had trouble with the spelling,” said Rep. Chris Cannaday, R-OKC. “Probably because he’s not used to spelling it or writing it or part of his real name.”
Ultimately, Roberts was ordered to change his campaign registration on the spot and cover the $250 cost of the hearing.
“For someone to choose a nickname just a few weeks ago and then say it as something you generally knew, which was the current state standard, didn’t seem fair. It feels like something. something that could be a gimmick on the ballot,” Osborn said.
“I’m going to have to make sure people who know me as just ‘the patriot’ know I’m Sean Roberts on the ballot, so it’ll be a little more work, but we’ll get there,” Roberts mentioned.
Incumbent Osborn will face Roberts and Keith Swinton in the June 28 Republican primary. Will Daugherty filed as an Independent and Jack Henderson as a Democrat.