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Okla. Panel Passes bill for Nonpartisan Sheriffs (Feb 29, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Races for sheriff in Oklahoma's 77 counties would no longer be partisan under a bill approved by a House committee.

The House Rules Committee voted 9-4 on Wednesday for the bill by Republican Rep. Randy Grau of Edmond. Grau maintains public safety is not a Republican or Democratic issue and that there is no need for a partisan sheriff.

Oklahoma Sheriff's Association Executive Director Ken McNair says the association opposes the proposal based on a 7-6 vote of its board last year. But McNair acknowledges many individual sheriffs support the idea.

The bill now heads to the full House for a vote.

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