Former Oklahoma lawmaker, felon considers running for office
Jul. 25, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former Oklahoma lawmaker who was convicted of embezzlement says he's considering running for a state executive office in 2018.
Leo Kingston, 67, was a first-term senator when he was convicted in 1990 of defrauding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The Oklahoman (http://bit.ly/2utppbK ) reported. He was accused of using straw buyers to illegally acquire government-insured mortgages.
Kingston served three years of an eight-year sentence.
Kingston announced on Facebook last weekend that he's thinking about running for labor commissioner, saying he's "risen from the ashes" and believes in second chances. The seat will be vacant after Melissa McLawhorn Houston leaves office in 2018.
"I'm not hiding the past," Kingston said. "I'll put it out there faster than any opponent will, because if I'm going to be transparent, I'm going to have to talk about the past. I would think if I ran, I would have to be prepared for that past to come out front. I might as well be the first one to put it out there."
Felons are legally required to wait 15 years after completing a sentence before running for office. Kingston is eligible.
Kingston returned to real estate after prison and sold his business last year. He now runs a website that deals with commercial real estate and mineral rights.
"To start over at 46 years old, I started over with nothing," Kingston said. "And I'm a multimillionaire today. How easy is it to start over with that scarlet F on your forehead? It's not easy."
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com