Michael J. Hunter

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Mike Hunter
Michael J. Hunter.jpg
Hunter as a state representative, 1989
18th Attorney General of Oklahoma
Assumed office
February 20, 2017
Governor Mary Fallin
Preceded by Scott Pruitt
29th and 32nd Secretary of State of Oklahoma
In office
November 1, 2016 – February 20, 2017
Governor Mary Fallin
Preceded by Chris Benge
Succeeded by Tod Wall (Acting)
In office
March 16, 1999 – October 16, 2002
Governor Frank Keating
Preceded by Tom Cole
Succeeded by Kay Dudley
Secretary of the Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office
In office
August 3, 2009 – September 1, 2010
Governor Brad Henry
Preceded by Clifton Scott
Succeeded by Doug Allen (Acting)
Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1956-07-02) July 2, 1956 (age 61)
Garfield County, Oklahoma, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cheryl Plaxico
Children 2
Education Oklahoma State University, Stillwater (BA)
University of Oklahoma (JD)

Michael J. Hunter (born July 2, 1956)[1] is an American politician from the state of Oklahoma. Hunter served as the Secretary of State of Oklahoma from 1999 to 2002, having been appointed by Governor of Oklahoma Frank Keating.[2] On November 1, 2016, he appointed to the same post by Governor Mary Fallin. He also serves as Special Counsel to the Governor. On February 20, 2017, Hunter was appointed Attorney General of Oklahoma, replacing Scott Pruitt who was confirmed as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency three days earlier on February 17.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Hunter was born on July 2, 1956 to Chester and Phyllis Hunter.[1] He grew up on a farm in Garfield County, Oklahoma, and is a fourth generation Oklahoman. Hunter received his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University in 1978. He later graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1982. While at OU-Law, Hunter served as the President of the Student Bar Association. Upon graduating, Hunter entered private practice. His area of specialization was in energy, real property, public employment law and utility regulation.

Oklahoma politics[edit]

In 1984, Hunter was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. While in the House, he served as Chairman of the Republican Caucus and Vice Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee. In 1988, he was one of the eight lawmakers recognized by the Daily Oklahoman as Oklahoma’s Best Legislators. That same year he was the recipient of the Oklahoma District Attorneys’ Legislative Appreciation Award for his work in criminal justice. Hunter remained in the House until 1991.

After leaving the Oklahoma Legislature, Hunter returned to private practice until 1993. From 1993 to 1994, Hunter served as the General Counsel of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the state's regulatory authority for public utilities, oil and gas, transportation and pipelines companies.

In 1994, Hunter was the Republican nominee for Attorney General of Oklahoma. Hunter would lose the election to Democratic Muskogee County District Attorney Drew Edmondson.

Federal politics[edit]

Following the election of J. C. Watts as the Congressman for Oklahoma's 4th congressional district, Hunter was appointed as Watts' chief of staff in 1995, serving until 1999.[4] As Watts' chief of staff, Hunter managed his offices in Washington, D.C., Norman, Oklahoma and Lawton, Oklahoma. He also served as legal counsel to Congressman Watts in his work on the National Security and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.

Keating Administration[edit]

In 1998, incumbent Republican Governor of Oklahoma Frank Keating was reelected to second four-year term. Keating's first Secretary of State Tom Cole stepped down to return to the private sector. On March 16, 1999, Keating appointed Hunter to serve as the 29th Oklahoma Secretary of State. In addition to his duties as Secretary of State, Hunter served as Governor Keating’s chief liaison to the Oklahoma Legislature and to the state’s federal delegation in Washington, D. C.

Private sector[edit]

Hunter resigned as Secretary of State in October 2002 to become the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Council of Life Insurers under president and CEO Frank Keating. He managed the organization’s $47 million budget and 135 member staff. The ACLI is the advocacy, legal and research arm of the life insurance industry.

In 2011, after serving as Secretary of the Commissioners of the Oklahoma Land Office, Hunter was named chief operating officer of the American Bankers Association, serving again under Keating as president and CEO. Hunter oversees the ABA's government relations, public policy, legal, and communications activities.[5]

Return to Oklahoma 2009-10 and 2015[edit]

In August 2009, Democratic Governor of Oklahoma Brad Henry appointed Hunter the 47th Secretary of the Commissioners of the Land Office. The Commissioners of the Land Office is charged with managing the lands the U.S. Congress granted to Oklahoma at statehood to help benefit public education. The office also administers the trust funds and proceeds derived from selling and renting the public lands. Hunter resigned from the Land Office effective September 1, 2010. Douglas Allen, the Assistant Secretary of the Commissioners of the Land Office under Hunter, was appointed interim Secretary, and later Secretary, by the Commissioners.

In June 2015, Hunter was appointed First Assistant Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma by Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

Personal life[edit]

Hunter is married to Cheryl Plaxico Hunter. Cheryl is a practicing lawyer who served as a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education from 2000 to 2009. They have two sons, Barrett and Brock.[6]

Election history[edit]

August 23, 1994, Attorney General of Oklahoma Republican primary results [7]

Candidates Party Votes %
Mike Hunter Republican 104,962 58.15
Mark Gibson Republican 75,547 41.85

November 8, 1994, Attorney General of Oklahoma election results [8]

Candidates Party Votes %
Mike Hunter Republican 465,031 47.84
Drew Edmondson Democratic 507,039 52.16


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Tom Cole
Secretary of State of Oklahoma
Succeeded by
Kay Dudley
Preceded by
Clifton Scott
Secretary of the Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office
Succeeded by
Doug Allen
Preceded by
Chris Benge
Secretary of State of Oklahoma
Succeeded by
Tod Wall
Legal offices
Preceded by
Cara Rodriguez
Attorney General of Oklahoma