Wife of slain Oklahoma commissioner seeks seat under 'widow's clause'

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 09, 2015 12:23 PM

By Heide Brandes

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - The wife of Oklahoma's slain labor commissioner, who was stabbed to death in August, has requested the governor consider her to take over his elected office under a state provision known as the "widow's clause."

State law allows a widow or widower to finish out an elected official's term in the event of death of their spouse.

Mark Costello was stabbed to death in an Oklahoma City fast food restaurant in August. The couple's son, Christian Costello, has been charged with first-degree murder in his father's death.

The family previously said in a statement that Christian "has experienced many difficulties over the past several years" and "struggles with a mental health disease."

In an letter to the governor, Cathy Costello said the Labor Commissioner's Chief of Staff Jim Marshall should be considered for the position, but asked that if he was not chosen, that she be considered.

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Governor Mary Fallin's office has yet to commit to a decision on who will fulfill commissioner Costello's term.

"Governor Fallin is looking for a good administrator with a conservative philosophy on government, who is committed to making government run more efficiently and effectively," Fallin's spokesman Alex Weintz said.

(Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Lisa Lambert)