Newly elected Oklahoma lawmakers help pick new leaders

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Oklahoma State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY – Dozens of newly elected state legislators are helping to pick their new leaders for the upcoming legislative session that begins in February.

In the House, the new Republican caucus on Wednesday picked Speaker of the House Charles McCall to serve another term as its top leader. McCall will be the speaker-elect until he’s formally elected in January.

“I am grateful that my colleagues have confidence in me to lead this chamber,” said McCall, R-Atoka, who ran unopposed for the position. “We just emerged from a challenging time with great success, and I am hopeful that better economic times are ahead. The House is the chamber closest to the people, and our lawmakers have spent the last six months on the doorsteps and in town halls hearing directly from citizens. I am confident the House has a great understanding of what issues are important to the citizens of our great state. Voters just gave our caucus the largest Republican super majority in state history. I believe this is evidence that Oklahomans continue to trust our members to lead and solve the state’s problems. The upcoming session will present its own unique challenges, but I am confident that we can all work together to move our state forward.”

House Republicans also selected Rep. Harold Wright for another term as speaker pro tempore, the No. 2 post in the House.

“It’s a great honor to be chosen by your peers to do a job, and to earn their trust and be re-elected is deeply gratifying,” said Wright, R-Weatherford. “We have a very good leadership team in our caucus, and I am really looking forward to working with our members and Speaker McCall to meet our challenges and improve this state.”

House Republicans expanded their majority and now have a 76-25 advantage over Democrats. Senate Republicans have a 39-9 edge.

Newly elected senators were sworn into office on Wednesday. All of the House members will be sworn into office on Thursday.

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