CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa, says he will not seek re-election in 2016. He will retire from the House of Representatives after serving out the remainder of his current term. District 30, which he represents at the Capitol, includes Sapulpa, Glenpool, Kiefer, Mounds, Liberty, Oak Ridge and Bixby.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to represent the area where I grew up and where my family is from, ” McCullough said.
Rep. McCullough entered the Legislature in 2006, winning a competitive election, winning again in 2008 in another competitive campaign. He won easily in 2010 and was unopposed the last two elections.
Reflecting on his motivations, McCullough stated: “The Lord put it on my heart to run for office, and now I believe He’s telling me its ok to step away. … I’ve tried to be a good steward with my time in office, and now it’s time for the people of District 30 to begin the process of choosing who that new steward should be.”
McCullough said, in a state House press release, the budget would dominate the upcoming session: “We are really in the hole this year, and I imagine most of my time will be spent on that.” He said his family “was very patient to share me with the state for a while and now I just want to try and spend more time with them.”
McCullough will return to a solo law practice, where his wife Charlotte assists. Son Everett attends Sapulpa Middle School and son Clayton goes to Freedom Elementary.
McCullough has worked on reforms in the state pension system, as well as on civil justice, criminal justice, Medicaid and other issues.
In the House staff release this week, McCullough recalled his work on comprehensive worker’s compensation reform, including the historic reform bill to passage in 2013. As a result of the state's shift away from a litigious system to an administrative system, he contends the state is serving workers better, and “is sending insurance premium rates through the floor, which helps businesses stay competitive – just like we thought it would.”
McCullough has served as Chairman of Judiciary Appropriations and Budget Committee for the last several years.
He also serves on the full Appropriations and Budget Committee. He commented,
“The budget is a jealous and fickle mistress. It takes a ton of time and you don’t know which way it’s going to toss you at any given moment during session. … The yearly budget is a big, very real, fight between competing priorities – with well represented advocates. One positive aspect of earning a spot on the Budget Team has been the opportunity to strongly advocate – year after year – for the Common Education budget: either for a bigger slice of the pie or a lesser cut if times were tough.”
Rep. McCullough has advocated preservation of the traditional, nuclear family. He led numerous studies on family fragmentation. Working with Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, and others, he secured the first substantive change in Oklahoma’s divorce laws since the late 1950s.
Saying he enjoyed working in a team effort for better policy. His release concluded: “I’m not the best Christian sometimes. Just ask the people that have to work with me. We all need Christ’s grace. But I do sincerely attempt to seek the Lord in all that I do in this job, while trying to weave Biblical principles into every bill and every transaction over which I have influence. And I pray in some small way, that has made a difference.”