Monday, February 20, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today appointed Secretary of State Mike Hunter to the post of state attorney general.
Hunter succeeds Scott Pruitt, who resigned after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Hunter served as first assistant attorney general under Pruitt until Fallin last year named him secretary of state and special legal counsel. He starts his new duties immediately.
“Mike understands the law and has a thorough understanding of state government, which will serve him and the state well,” said Fallin. “Mike also understands the importance of public service and he will be a tremendous advocate to protect the basic legal rights for Oklahomans.”
Hunter served as first assistant attorney general for Pruitt from June 2015 until October, serving as chief legal adviser and overseeing a staff of over 200 lawyers, law enforcement agents and support staff.
“I appreciate the confidence placed in me by Governor Fallin,” he said. “I enjoyed working in her administration, and look forward to continuing to assist whenever possible to improve our state.”
From 2010 to 2015, Hunter was the chief operating officer of the American Bankers Association (ABA), which represents banks of all sizes and charters and is the champion for the nation’s $13 trillion banking industry and its 2 million employees. Hunter managed government relations, regulatory, legal and communications activities for the ABA.
Prior to joining ABA, Hunter was secretary of the Commissioners of the Land Office, a $4 billion public land and investment trust in Oklahoma. From 2002 through 2009, Hunter was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the American Council of Life Insurers, the advocacy, legal and research arm of the life insurance industry.
Hunter served as Oklahoma’s secretary of state under then-Gov. Frank Keating. He also served as Keating’s chief liaison to the Legislature, the state judiciary and the state’s federal delegation.
Hunter was chief of staff to then-U.S. Rep. J. C. Watts Jr., of Oklahoma, from 1995 to 1999. His position involved the management of the congressman’s office in Washington, D.C., and district offices in Oklahoma. He also served as legal counsel to Watts in his work on the National Security Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
While in private practice as an energy and real estate lawyer, Hunter served as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives for six years. In 1988, he was one of eight lawmakers recognized by The Daily Oklahoman as “Oklahoma’s Best Legislators.”
In 1993 and 1994, Hunter served as general counsel of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the state regulatory authority for public utilities, oil and gas, transportation and pipelines. He has also taught political science as an adjunct professor at the University of Central Oklahoma and at the University of Oklahoma.
Hunter received his law degree from OU and his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University. He is married to Cheryl Plaxico Hunter, and they have two sons, Barrett and Brock.
Assistant Secretary of State Tod Wall will temporarily assume the duties of secretary of state until the governor names Hunter’s successor.