Canadian County court clerk challenged by former chief deputy in re-election bid

Marie Hirst, Rindie Hunt face off in June 30 primary; three other county officers unopposed

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Canadian County’s court clerk is being challenged by her former chief deputy in her bid for a fourth term in office.

Canadian County Court Clerk Marie Hirst

El Reno’s Marie Hirst, 57, has been the elected court clerk since January 2009 and is the final year of her third term.

“I love what I do and I love the people I work with,” Hirst said.

Hirst believes another term will allow her office to continue helping make upgrades to Canadian County’s court system.

She filed for re-election at 9:01 a.m. Wednesday, the first day of the three-day filing period at the Canadian County Election Board.

Twelve minutes later, Hirst had an opponent when El Reno’s Rindie Hunt, 43, filed for the court clerk’s seat. Hunt spent six years as the court clerk’s chief deputy and has been bailiff for District Judge Jack McCurdy since January 2018.

“I believe the time is right for me to do this – for my family and for Canadian County,” Hunt said.

Hunt said she “loves working for Judge Jack,” but believes she belongs in the court clerk’s office.

Since both Hirst and Hunt are Republicans, the race will be decided at the primary election on Tuesday, June 30. No run-off is needed with just two candidates.

Rindie Hunt

The winner will earn the next four-year term to start in January 2021.

Three other Canadian County officers have earned new terms after the filing period ended at 5 p.m. Friday with none drawing an opponent.

Canadian County Clerk Sherry Murray, 48; and Canadian County Sheriff Chris West, 57; filed for re-election Wednesday morning for their second terms.

Canadian County District 2 Commissioner David Anderson, 60, filed Thursday morning to retain his seat for a fourth term.

Murray lives in El Reno and West and Anderson live in Mustang. The three incumbents – all Republicans – will start their new four-year terms in January 2021.

Sheriff West posted the following on Facebook after learning he had no challengers in his re-election bid:

Canadian County Sheriff Chris West

“It’s been an incredible and humbling experience to serve as sheriff of my home county the past three years and four months. Today at 5 p.m. I learned that I was the only person who filed for sheriff in the upcoming elections, meaning I have the honor of continuing to serve as Canadian County sheriff through 2024.”

West, a 1980 Yukon High School graduate, joined the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office after retiring as a captain with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. After serving as undersheriff, he was elected in 2016 as sheriff to succeed Randall Edwards.

“I am blessed to work alongside so many dedicated professionals at the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office,” West wrote in his Friday post. “It truly is a TEAM effort and they make me shine every day. Thank you to all of them!

“I’m eternally grateful to God for blessing me in such an awesome manner, and give Him all the praise and glory.”

Read full coverage in the April 15th edition of The Yukon Progress.