Gov. Stitt announces Steven Harpe as state chief operating officer

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Tuesday that Steven Harpe will be Oklahoma’s next chief operating officer.

Harpe will oversee cabinet secretaries and state agencies while keeping his role as executive director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES), according to the governor’s office. He will also continue to serve on the governor’s cabinet as deputy secretary of digital transformation and administration.

“I am thrilled that Steve has accepted the new challenge of serving Oklahomans as the state’s chief operating officer,” Stitt said. “Steve is without a doubt the right person for this job, and I know he will build on our successes to take us closer to becoming a top 10 state.”

Harpe replaces John Budd, the state’s first COO and former Sonic Corp. executive, who resigned earlier in July.

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“It’s an honor that Governor Stitt has trusted me with this great responsibility. I look forward to capitalizing on the momentum that has been created within state government,” Harpe said. 

Stitt created the position of COO when he came into office in 2019.

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