Oklahoma state representative changes party affiliation

OKLAHOMA CITY -A state representative for Leflore and McCurtain counties has decided to change parties ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

On Thursday, News 4 learned that Rep. Johnny Tadlock was switching his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

“Whether the legislator from House District 1 is a Republican or a Democrat, the Democratic Caucus is going to continue to fight for legislation that benefits towns like Broken Bow and Idabel,” Minority Leader Emily Virgin said. “For the last decade, Republican policies from healthcare to education have been devastating to rural Oklahoma so while we don’t understand Rep. Tadlock’s decision, we wish him the best of luck.”

However, Tadlock says that the move represents what his constituents want.

“This to me is not at all about party affiliation,” said Tadlock, from Idabel. “This is about representing the people who live in my district to the best of my ability and making sure their voice is heard at the state Capitol. To do this, I feel I would have better success in the majority party. I have not changed my beliefs. As a Democrat, I was endorsed by the National Rifle Association. I have always been pro-life. I have cared about safe and decent roads and bridges, public safety, free and fair public education and health care that reaches those in the rural communities. These are still the issues with which I will be concerned.”

Tadlock was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2014.

He is a member of several committees, including the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, General Government Oversight and Accountability Committee and Special Investigation Committee.