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Meet Todd Hagopian: The CEO who is the Libertarian Nominee for Oklahoma State Corporation Commission!

First Statewide LP Win is Difficult BUT Possible

I had the pleasure of interviewing a Libertarian statewide candidate for office who has some of the necessary conditions for victory BUT NOT all yet.

Todd Hagopian is the LP nominee for Oklahoma State Corporation Commission. The Commission is an obscure but powerful agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, public utilities and transportation. (The Commonwealth of Virginia has a SCC as well and it is elected, not by the people but by the legislature. I have always felt the specialty work of the SCC is ill-suited for popular election but Todd has moved my needle – if I were running for statewide office or legislature as a Libertarian I think I would call for the SCC to be popularly elected – but I am officially undecided on this yet.) I got to know Todd through my live blog of the LP Convention.

Hagopian is a corporate CEO. His company is Unarco – not an oil and gas concern although it sounds like one – but nearly an exact opposite: Manufacturer of shopping carts. Yes. Shopping carts! If you live in Danville, Virginia, you might work for Todd! Unarco has a factory in Danville that was placed there prior to Hagopian’s tenure as CEO began two years ago.

I like Todd; he’s a solid candidate. He was in business management (Senior Manager at Whirlpool for almost seven years and then Business Unit Manager with Illinois Tool Works with nearly three years before being hired as CEO of Unarco – and Hagopian is only 40 years old! [I will officially lay down for a few minutes until the aging crisis passes!]) after education in Michigan (BS – Eastern Michigan U and MBA from Michigan State. So if you are Spartan alum or an EMU Eagles alum – maybe consider helping Todd!) Unarco is owned by a company that is owned by Berkshire Hathaway – who is led by a guy from Omaha named Buffett!

Another favorable aspect of this race is – no Democrat and the GOP is likely to run the incumbent, although there is a primary. It is a ballot access race and all Hagopian needs for the LP is 2.5 percent (Oklahoma used to be 10% like that other state where there is a Unarco factory but unlike that state, they decided to be reasonable and lower that vote amount to avoid petitioning to 2.5%.) But, there will always be those who think: Too many terms and too many uncontested races.

The LP position on regulations ought to help Hagopian in that this agency is powerful and behind the scenes. Here are Todd’s three bullet points:

  • 1) Cut The Red Tape
  • 2) Stop Letting Government Pick Winners/Losers
  • 3) Put Oklahomans Back To Work!

Sometimes these down ballot races produce a dynamic that is favorable for a challenger. Some voters might vote Trump/Pence but feel the oil companies have too much power or utilities get too many perks so they vote for the challenger. Might also be a feeling of “the incumbent’s got this in the bag” (President Hillary Clinton can tell you about that…) and does not get out and campaign. Or commits a gaffe.

Areas of concern: Will the Dems sit out this election? Will Sooners object to a newcomer (two years a resident) running for a statewide office?

This race might be one that LP members and Friends of Liberty (like me) ought to donate to. I do not intend (as a general rule) to solicit funds for other candidates – could be in violation of local campaign finance laws. But if you believe in liberty, maybe you should give up some item (for me – sweet tea!) and give the money to a fine candidate like Todd Hagopian or Gideon Oakes. If ten thousand of you out there gave $25 to each one – both candidates would have $250,000. Here is Todd’s website. Sacrificial giving helped the Christian Church send people to the four corners of the earth to preach the Gospel and something like that habit could result in wins for Liberty!

Photo and logo courtesy Todd Hagopian. Isn’t that a neat logo? I really like it. This article is not yet an endorsement of Todd BUT…

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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