House lawmakers to take Oath of office
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
Incoming Speaker of the House Kris Steele of Shawnee, number two Republican Jeff Hickman of Dacoma and the other 99 members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives will take their oaths of office in the House Chamber of the state Capitol on Tuesday, November 16 at 1:30 p.m. Steele and Hickman are both new to the top House posts.
The formal Oath to commence two-year terms will be administered by Oklahoma State Supreme Court Vice-Chief Justice Steven W. Taylor. Taylor was recently selected as incoming chief justice by his colleagues.
All 101 seats in the Oklahoma House of Representatives are up for election every two years. Republicans gained eight House seats in this year’s elections, giving the caucus a historic 70-31 majority.
In the state Senate, meanwhile, oaths for reelected and new members will be administered at 11 a.m. Tuesday morning. New leadership also characterizes the upper chamber, with Sens. Brian Bingman of Sapulpa and Mike Schulz of Altus taking the reins of power. Senate Democrats will be led by Andrew Rice of Oklahoma City.
House Democrats are planning a modest celebration of their four brand-new members, according to a press release sent to CapitolBeatOK by the state Democratic party.
At the home of longtime Democratic (and civic) leader Sid Musser near the state Capitol, four new Democrats will be honored Tuesday evening after the day’s formal activities: Reps. Emily Virgin of Norman, Donnie Condit of McAlester, Will Fourkiller of Adair County, and James Lockhart of Heavener.
The Musser home reception is co-hosted by Representatives Scott Inman of Oklahoma City, Jerry McPeak of Warner, Joe Dorman of Rush Springs and Eric Proctor of Tulsa.
Oklahoma is one of 20 states where Republicans now enjoy what the online news site Ballotpedia dubs a “trifecta” – with The Grand Old Party enjoying control of the governor’s office and both houses of the legislature.
On the other hand, according to Ballotpedia, only 7 states saw Democrats pick up more seats then they had going into the November 2 election.
Those seven states, and the net gain(s) for Democrats, are: California Assembly: 1 seat; Delaware House: 2 seats; Hawaii Senate: 1 seat; Maryland Senate: 2 seats; Massachusetts Senate: 1 seat; Missouri Senate: 1 seat; and West Virginia senate: 1 seat.
NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.