By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Three incumbents will begin new terms in Canadian County offices next January after not being challenged in their re-election bids.
Canadian County Sheriff Chris West, District 2 County Commissioner David Anderson and County Clerk Sherry Murray have each earned new four-year terms that will start in January 2021.
The three-day filing period for four Canadian County offices was April 8-10 at the Canadian County Election Board in El Reno. West, Anderson and Murray were the only candidates to file for their respective county offices.
One Canadian County office drew two contestants and the race will be decided at the June 30 primary election.
District Court Clerk Marie Hirst, of El Reno, filed at 9:01 a.m. April 8. Hirst, 57, is seeking her fourth term.
Challenging Hirst in her re-election bid is Rindie Hunt, of El Reno. Hunt, 43, filed at 9:13 a.m. April 8.
‘INCREDIBLE AND HUMBLING’
Sheriff West, of Mustang, filed for re-election at 8:05 a.m. April 8. West, 57, thanked his supporters for the chance to have a second term through 2024.
“I’m very grateful and extremely blessed to be able to continue serving as Canadian County sheriff. It’s a tremendous honor,” West said.
“I pray the Lord will guide and protect us as we serve our wonderful citizens.”
West has been the Canadian County sheriff since taking office in January 2017. He’s in the final year of his first four-year term.
A 1980 Yukon High School graduate, West is a fifth generation Oklahoman and lifelong Canadian County resident. He has more than 35 years of experience in law enforcement.
After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, West served 28 years with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. He retired from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol at the end of 2012 with the rank of captain.
While serving with the highway patrol, West worked in assignments at the State Capitol, as a traffic trooper, academy training staff, field supervisor, troop commander, agency spokesman, on the honor guard, and as a member of the tactical team.
After retiring for the OHP, West was appointed Canadian County undersheriff. He worked in that capacity until taking office in January 2017 as Canadian County’s elected sheriff.
In June 2019, West was selected as the Oklahoma Sheriffs Association’s “Sheriff of the Year.”
West possesses an Oklahoma Advanced Law Enforcement Certification, and is a certified firearms instructor on handguns, shotguns, and rifles through the Oklahoma Council for Law Enforcement Education & Training.
West holds more than a dozen Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Incident Management System certifications. He is a 2004 graduate of the 216th Session of the FBI National Academy, and a 2013 graduate of the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Academy.
Canadian County’s sheriff has served on several boards, including the Oklahoma Sheriffs Association, Oklahoma Sheriffs & Peace Officers Association, Oklahoma District Attorney Council’s Forensic Sciences Improvement Task Force, Western States Sheriffs Association, and National Sheriffs Association.
Sheriff West and his wife Kelly live in Mustang and have two sons and several grandchildren. They are members of Council Road Baptist Church.
‘GRATEFUL’ FOR FOURTH TERM
District 2 Commissioner Anderson, of Mustang, filed to retain his seat at 9:06 a.m. April 9. Anderson, 60, will begin his fourth term in office.
The incumbent said he was “grateful” while thanking Canadian County residents for the opportunity to continue his service in District 2.
“A lot of exciting things are going on right now with our county,” Anderson said. “I look forward to being involved another four years.
“I know one way to make 12 years go by really fast is to serve as a county commissioner.”
Anderson has been Canadian County’s District 2 commissioner since January 2009. He is in the final year of this third, four-year term.
Anderson was the voters’ top choice over several candidates when her first ran for the District 2 commissioner’s seat in 2008 to succeed Don Young. He has twice been re-elected to new terms, the first time unopposed and again four years ago after beating two challengers.
Anderson was ready for another challenge this year as he sought a fourth term.
“I’ve enjoyed the last 12 years working for Canadian County,” he said. “It’s always challenging, and I’d like to continue serving the citizens.”
The three-term incumbent was ready to embrace a re-election campaign, saying he would “welcome the discussion” on issues.
Anderson serves on the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma (ACCO) Insurance Board for ACCO District 6.
Before becoming a Canadian County commissioner, Anderson worked 30 years in the utility construction business.
A lifelong Mustang resident, Anderson and wife Debby have two children and five grandchildren. He is a deacon at First Baptist Church in Mustang.
FIRST TO FILE
County Clerk Murray, of El Reno, was the first candidate to file at 8 a.m. April 8. Murray, 48, also has earned a second term.
“I would like to thank my Lord and Savior first and foremost, my family, constituents and supporters for their confidence in me,” Murray said. “I look forward to continue to serve Canadian County as their county clerk. God Bless!”
Murray has been the Canadian County clerk since taking office in January 2017. She’s in the final year of her first four-year term.
Murray began her career with Canadian County working in the court clerk’s office from 2001-08. She started in the records department, moved through all divisions of the civil litigation department and eventually became a civil division supervisor.
In 2009, Murray transferred to the county clerk’s office and worked as the county clerk purchasing agent for seven years before being elected county clerk in July 2016. She has completed County Clerk Basic Certification.
Murray is member of the Oklahoma County Clerk’s Association, Oklahoma County Officers and Deputies Association and El Reno Chamber.
A Canadian County resident for 43 years, Murray and husband Mike have four children and three grandchildren. They are active member at First Baptist Church, El Reno.