Russell Ray Announces Candidacy for Oklahoma Corporation Commission

Pledges to restore balance between business interests and consumer interests. 

For Immediate Release
April 5, 2024
Contact: Russell Ray

Longtime energy journalist and communications executive Russell Ray declared his candidacy today for Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner.

A former spokesman and thought leader for America’s power generation industry, Ray has 20 years of experience evaluating energy policy, pricing and technology. Ray wants to use that experience to help the state make better decisions about what’s fair for both consumers and utilities.

“As Oklahomans struggle to pay skyrocketing costs for food, shelter and healthcare, many questions surrounding the fairness of energy costs being passed on to consumers have been raised,” Ray said. “Rate- and- fuel-cost cases are complicated and require a lot of expert vetting and scrutiny. I have the background and knowledge to strike the right balance between consumer concerns and business concerns.” 

Ray, 55, is a conservative Republican who believes in an all-of-the-above strategy to meet America’s energy needs. That includes the use of natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar and energy storage. He fought the Obama administration’s war on coal, a conflict that rolled back decades old policy that offered reasonable protections to power producers trying to provide customers an affordable and reliable supply of electricity.

Oklahoma utility customers are footing the bill for billions of dollars in questionable fuel costs, including interest payments, stemming from a massive winter storm in 2021. The state’s attorney general launched an investigation amid allegations of market manipulation by natural gas traders.

The case raises questions about efforts to plan ahead for extreme weather conditions and incentives for utilities to mitigate their fuel costs. Utility companies are allowed to pass the cost of fuel on to customers at no markup. 

“My concern is the commission isn’t challenging utilities to better control their fuel costs,” Ray said. “It was an extraordinary event that led to extraordinary consumer costs. The commission should have conducted a more thorough probe before approving those costs.”  

In addition, transparency and open government are under attack at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Ray said. 

Several state leaders, including two of three corporation commissioners, have backed legislation that would allow the three-member commission to meet privately to discuss, among other things, informational updates, agenda items and commission operations. This measure is wholly unacceptable and should be rejected by everyone who values freedom, democracy and transparency for Oklahomans, Ray said. 

“Oklahomans deserve more, not less, transparency. I challenge the commission and my opponent(s) to condemn this legislation and any measure restricting Oklahomans’ ability to attend meetings of the full commission,” he said. “This measure (HB 2367) would squeeze the sunshine out of Oklahoma’s open meeting law and set a dangerous precedent for the entire state.” 

Oklahoma voters deserve an honest choice, Ray said. 

“This election is about a choice between the state’s political establishment and someone who is unafraid to vote his conscience,” Ray said.  “It’s a choice between more transparency and less transparency. It’s a choice between more balance or less balance between consumer concerns and business concerns.”

The Republican primary election is scheduled for June 18.

Ray currently serves as communications director for Oklahoma CareerTech. He and his wife Deborah, a public-school teacher, live in Edmond and attend Henderson Hills Baptist Church. He is a proud member of the Oklahoma City Gun Club and National Rifle Association.

Ray’s experience: 

  • Communications Director, Oklahoma CareerTech (four years).
  • Executive Editor, The Journal Record (two years).
  • Chairman and editor-in-chief, POWER-GEN International, Power Engineering magazine (nine years).
  • Energy/Political reporter, Tampa Bay Times (three years).
  • Energy Reporter, Tulsa World (eight years). 

Ray’s campaign website,, is under construction and will be up and running soon. Meanwhile, for more information about Ray’s background and experience, click here to view his Facebook campaign page. Click here to view his LinkedIn profile.

To support the campaign, send donations to:

Russell Ray for Corporation Commission
1050 E. 2nd St., Box #285
Edmond, OK 73034