On September 8, Cathy Costello, widow of slain Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, sent a letter to Gov. Mary Fallin asking to be named his replacement.
The state was shocked this summer as Mark Costello was murdered at an Oklahoma City restaurant. Their son, Christian Costello, has been charged with first-degree murder and awaits trial.
Cathy Costello cited state law that reads:
“If any officer of the state, district, county, city, town or other governmental subdivision of this state shall die while in office, and shall leave a surviving spouse, the said surviving spouse shall be eligible (if otherwise qualified) to be appointed to and to hold said office during the term for which the said officer was elected…”
This concept, labeled the “widow’s mandate,” has been invoked in the nation as recently as 2010. Cathy Costello said the mandate has put 48 women in office to finish their husband’s work.
She thanked all those Oklahomans who have supported her family in the wake the tragedy. She said her business experience parallels that of her late husband and qualifies her to be labor commissioner.
“As you know, Mark and I have been partners in everything since the day of our marriage,” she wrote in the letter. “Throughout our 33 years in business, we have successfully launched 8 businesses in 6 different industries with service in over 60 countries worldwide, all while raising and educating our 5 children. We have always sought to use our resources to better the lives of those around us.”
Costello would join the wives of presidents, congressmen and U.S. senators should she be appointed as Labor Commissioner.
Cathy Costello was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on July 22, 1959. She received a bachelor of arts degree from The University of Kansas in 1981 where she met Mark. The couple was married in January 1982. Mark died in Cathy’s arms on August 23. They would have been married for 34 years on January 8, 2016.