CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
President Pro Tempore Designate Brian Bingman announced his choices for the Senate Redistricting Committee Wednesday (December 29).
In a press release sent to CapitolBeatOK, the state Senate staff said, “Redistricting refers to the process of adjusting, or redrawing, district boundaries to accommodate the reapportionment as well as population changes within the state based on the 2010 census. All of Oklahoma’s congressional districts, judicial districts, Senate districts and House of Representatives districts are redrawn, to equalize representation.”
“It is very important that all of Oklahoma have a seat at the table for this redistricting process. I am confident that this bi-partisan committee of urban, rural and suburban members will accurately reflect our state and lead this process in fairness,” stated Bingman, a Sapulpa Republican. “It is our job as policy makers to ensure that all Oklahomans receive a voice and we will work diligently to be sure that our population is justly represented.”
Speaker of the House-designate Kris Steele previously promised a sensible process designed to protect the rights of all Oklahomans. After months of preparation in both legislative chambers, the process has begun to move forward with last week’s disclosure of early census data.
Supreme Court boundaries have not been amended since 1968, while Congressional, Senate and House of Representative boundaries change along with the completion of each census every ten years. “It has been over forty years since we have amended the Supreme Court boundaries and on that account it is time that we give them review in this process,” concluded Bingman.
State Sen. Andrew Rice of Oklahoma City, Minority Leader in the upper chamber, leads of contingent of four Democrats on the redistricting committee. A total of nine Republicans were named to the panel, with Bingman and his second-in-command, Mike Schutz of Altus, serving ex-officio.
Senate Redistricting Committee Members include:
Sen. Clark Jolley,R-Edmond, Co-Chairman
Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward, Co-Chairman
Sen. Jonathan Nichols, R-Norman, Judicial Vice Chairman
Sen. Don Barrington, R-Lawton, Western and southern Oklahoma Vice Chairman
Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa, Northeast Oklahoma Vice Chairman
Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, Eastern and southeast Oklahoma Vice Chairman
Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, Central Oklahoma Vice Chairman
Sen. Eddie Fields, R-Wynona, Congressional Chairman
Sen. Kim David, R-Wagoner, Congressional Vice Chairman
Sen. Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City, Minority Co-Vice Chairman
Sen. Sean Burrage, D-Claremore, Minority Co-Vice Chairman
Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, D-Tulsa
Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman
Sen. Brian Bingman and Sen. Mike Schulz, R-Altus, will serve as Ex-Officio Members of the Redistricting Committee.
The president pro temp said each of the vice chair members will serve as a point person to activity and issues related to their territory, which would include public meetings, member inquiries and constituent inquiries. As anticipated over the past year, Census data determines that Oklahoma will retain all five congressional seats.
NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this story.