Governor Brad Henry announced today he has appointed Oklahoma County Commissioner Jim Roth to the state Corporation Commission.
With the appointment, Roth becomes the state's highest ranking openly gay official.
"Every opponent I ever faced in an election made that their issue," Roth said. "And I've made my work the issue. I've always been honest about who I am."
Succeeding Denise Bode who resigned to pursue private sector opportunities, Roth has been elected as a county commissioner twice, in 2002 and 2006.
"Not only does (Roth) exemplify the highest ethical standards, but he is a consensus-builder who recognizes the importance of bipartisanship and working together," Henry said in a statement. "I am confident that Jim's fair-mindedness, honesty and attention to detail will make him an excellent addition to the commission."
The commission regulates oil-and-gas drilling, utilities and telecommunications.
"I pledge to approach my work as a commissioner with balance and careful consideration," Roth said in a statement. "The duties of the Corporation Commission have a far-reaching impact on both businesses and consumers, and that calls for complete fairness and working to build a consensus."
Before becoming a county commissioner, Roth served as a chief deputy and attorney to the Oklahoma County Clerk and for District One of the county commission.