Three new faces in the 2012 Oklahoma legislatureOct 17th, 2011 | By Jerrod Shouse | Category: Politics, State Capitol
Every election year brings a crop of new elected officials to all levels of government. The Oklahoma legislature is no different, especially since term limits went into affect almost a decade ago. Last November’s elections brought a large crop of new lawmakers to the capitol, and nearly 20% of state House members are serving their first term.
But three legislators who served in 2011 will not be back for the 2012 session, and three new lawmakers will step in to take their place.
Last November, then-state senator Jim Reynolds of Oklahoma City was elected as Cleveland County Treasurer. His term, however, did not begin until July 1 of this year. Reynolds was half-way though a term, and he continued to serve throughout the 2011 session before he resigned his senate seat to serve the county.
In a special election last Tuesday, Republican Greg Childers of Del City was elected to succeed Reynolds. Childers will serve for the final year of a four-year term for the District 43 seat. Childers will be sworn in on Wednesday.
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On November 8, voters in far Southeast Oklahoma will go to the polls for a special primary to begin to fill the remainder of state Rep. Rusty Farley’s term. Sadly, Rep. Farley passed away in July after serving less than one year in the House. Farley, a Republican, died in a Texas hospital following a pulmonary aneurysm.
Eight candidates have filed for the election to take his place — four are Republicans, two are Democrats, and two are independent candidates, including Farley’s daughter, Bethany Farley, 28.
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In the coming weeks, state Rep. Dan Sullivan will take over as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Grand River Dam Authority. News of the appointment was announced late last week, and Sullivan is expected to resign from the legislature soon. Sullivan serves as the Majority Floor Leader in the House.
After his resignation from his house seat, the Governor must call a special election to fill the remainder of the term.