Oklahoma Senate: Wikis


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Oklahoma Senate
Coat of arms or logo.
Type Upper house of Oklahoma Legislature
President of the Senate Jari Askins, D
since January 2, 2007
President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee (R)
since November 6, 2008
Members 48
Political groups Republican Party: 26
Democratic Party: 22
Meeting place
Oklahoma State Capitol

The Oklahoma Senate is the upper house of the two houses of the Legislature of Oklahoma, the other being the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The total number of Senators is set at 48 by the Oklahoma Constitution. The Senators are elected to four year terms on alternating cycles. The odd Senatorial districts are elected in the same cycle of every Presidential election year. The even numbered Senatorial districts are elected during the Gubernatorial election year, which occurs the second year after the Presidential election.

The presiding officer of the Senate is the Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma, who is the President of the Senate. Since the 1960s, the President pro tempore of the Senate has presided over daily work. Prior to that time, the President of the Senate took a leading role in the Senate, including appointing committees and members to those committees. The President of the Senate may cast a vote only in the instance of a tie vote and may not vote to create a tie.

The Senate meets in regular session in east wing of the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City, from early February to the last Friday in May. Special sessions may be called by the Governor of Oklahoma, or by supermajority vote of the Legislature.




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In order to file for election to the Senate, candidates must be twenty-five years of age at the time of their election. The candidate must also be a qualified elector in their respective counties or districts and shall reside in their respective counties or districts during their term of office. No person is eligible to serve as a member of the Legislature if they're an officer of the United States or State government. Also, any person who has been adjudged guilty of a felony is not eligible to election to the Legislature. If a member of the Legislature is expelled for corruption, they shall not be eligible to return to the Legislature.

No member of the legislature can serve more than 12 years in the Oklahoma State Legislature. Years in Legislative office need not be consecutive and years of service in both the Senate and the House of Representatives shall be added together and included in determining the total number of Legislative years in office. The years served by any member elected or appointed to serve less than a full Legislative term to fill a vacancy in office shall not be included in the 12-year limitation; but no member who has completed 12 years in office shall thereafter be eligible to serve a partial term. When term limits were implemented in 1992, they were not applied retroactively which meant that senators elected prior to their implementation could serve up to three full terms following the implementation of term limits. For example, the longest-serving member of the Oklahoma State Senate, Gene Stipe was elected in 1956, but would not have been term limited out until 2004, had he not resigned the previous year.




Old Method

Prior to a "one man, one vote" decisions of the United States Supreme Court in the 1960s and the court order which forced Oklahoma to equalize representation, Oklahoma was apportioned into forty-eight senatorial districts in the following manner: the nineteen most populous counties, as determined by the most recent Federal Decennial Census, were to constitute nineteen senatorial districts with one senator to be nominated and elected from each district. The fifty-eight less populous counties were to be joined into twenty-nine two-county districts with one senator to be nominated and elected from each of the two-county districts. In apportioning the Senate, the Oklahoma Constitution required that consideration be given to population, compactness, area, political units, historical precedents, economic and political interests, contiguous territory and other major factors, to the extent feasible.

New Method

Currently, under the holding of Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964) all districts must be apportioned within a five percent margin of the average target size district as determined by the U.S. Census population figures divided by the forty-eight districts. This allows for some districts to be slightly smaller or larger than others. The Senate draws its own maps of its district lines, which are subject to the approval of both the House of Representatives and the Governor. Should the redistricting not occur in a timely manner, the lines are determined by a panel of five statewide elected officials.

Historic Tie

In the November 7, 2006 elections, neither party had outright control of the Oklahoma State Senate. Although the Republican party added two seats to their prior total, a party switch resulted in an unprecedented and historic 24-24 tie. With neither party currently holding a majority, Democratic and Republican leaders negotiated a power-sharing agreement for the 2007-08 session. Instead of electing the traditional one leader, the Senate unanimously elected Co-Presidents Pro Tempore to serve as equal leaders of the Senate. Neither could make a decision or political appointment on behalf of the Senate without the other's assent. However, because the Oklahoma Constitution does not provide for two Presidents Pro Tempore, the two sides agreed to divide the time between them. Since the Democrats have the tie breaking vote of Lt. Governor Jari Askins, they were awarded the position of President Pro Tempore for twenty-three months of the legislature and the Republicans were awarded the position for only one month (July 2007) in recognition of them actually electing a majority of the membership.[1] By winning two more seats in the 2008 elections, the Republicans assumed control of the Chamber for the first time in state history and hold a 26-22 majority, thus ending the power sharing arrangement between the parties.


Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
End of previous legislature 24 24 48 0
Begin 26 22 48 0
Latest voting share 54.2% 45.8%


Republican Leadership, 2008-09

Democratic Leadership, 2008-09


Oklahoma Senate Chamber
District Name Party Hometown First Elected Towns Represented
Lt-Gov Jari Askins Democratic Duncan 2006 President of the Senate
1 Charles Wyrick Democratic Fairland 2004 Miami, Grove, Jay
2 Sean Burrage Democratic Claremore 2006 Claremore, Pryor
3 Jim Wilson Democratic Tahlequah 2004 Tahlequah, Stillwell
4 Kenneth Corn Democratic Howe 2002 Sallisaw, Poteau
5 Jerry Ellis Democratic Hugo 2008 Atoka, Hugo
6 Jay Paul Gumm Democratic Durant 2002 Durant
7 Richard Lerblance Democratic Hartshorne 2003 McAlester, Wilburton
8 Roger Ballenger Democratic Okmulgee 2006 Okmulgee, Henryetta
9 Earl Garrison Democratic Muskogee 2004 Muskogee, Ft. Gibson
10 Joe Sweeden Democratic Pawhuska 2006 Pawhuska, Fairfax
11 Judy Eason McIntyre Democratic Tulsa 2004 Tulsa
12 Brian Bingman Republican Sapulpa 2006 Sapulpa, Bristow
13 Susan Paddack Democratic Ada 2004 Ada
14 Johnnie Crutchfield Democratic Ardmore 1998 Ardmore
15 Jonathan Nichols Republican Norman 2000 Norman
16 John Sparks Democratic Norman 2006 Norman, Purcell
17 Charlie Laster Democratic Shawnee 2003 Shawnee
18 Mary Easley Democratic Grand Lake Towne 2004 Wagoner, Tulsa
19 Patrick Anderson Republican Enid 2004 Enid, Guthrie
20 David Myers Republican Ponca City 2002 Ponca City
21 Jim Halligan Republican Stillwater 2008 Stillwater, Guthrie
22 Mike Johnson Republican Kingfisher 1998 Kingfisher, Oklahoma City, Edmond
23 Ron Justice Republican Chickasha 2004 Chickasha
24 Anthony Sykes Republican Moore 2006 Moore, Duncan
25 Mike Mazzei Republican Tulsa 2004 Tulsa, Broken Arrow
26 Tom Ivester Democratic Sayre 2006 Elk City, Sayre, Mangum
27 Bryce Marlatt Republican Woodward 2008 Woodward, Guymon
28 Harry Coates Republican Seminole 2002 Seminole
29 John Ford Republican Bartlesville 2004 Bartlesville
30 Glenn Coffee Republican Oklahoma City 1998 Oklahoma City, Bethany
31 Don Barrington Republican Lawton 2004 Lawton, Rush Springs
32 Randy Bass Democratic Lawton 2004 Lawton
33 Tom Adelson Democratic Tulsa 2004 Tulsa
34 Randy Brogdon Republican Owasso 2002 Owasso, Tulsa
35 Gary Stanislawski Republican Tulsa 2008 Tulsa
36 Bill Brown Republican Broken Arrow 2006 Broken Arrow, Tulsa
37 Dan Newberry Republican Tulsa 2008 Tulsa, Sand Springs, Bixby
38 Mike Schulz Republican Altus 2006 Altus, Weatherford
39 Brian Crain Republican Tulsa 2004 Tulsa
40 Cliff Branan Republican Oklahoma City 2002 Oklahoma City
41 Clark Jolley Republican Edmond 2004 Edmond
42 Cliff Aldridge Republican Midwest City 2002 Midwest City
43 Jim Reynolds Republican Oklahoma City 2000 Oklahoma City, Del City
44 Debbe Leftwich Democratic Oklahoma City 2003 Oklahoma City
45 Steve Russell Republican Oklahoma City 2008 Oklahoma City, Moore, Mustang
46 Andrew Rice Democratic Oklahoma City 2006 Oklahoma City
47 Todd Lamb Republican Edmond 2004 Edmond, Oklahoma City
48 Constance N. Johnson Democratic Oklahoma City 2006 Oklahoma City


On November 24, 2008, President Pro Tempore Designate Glenn Coffee named Committee Chairs for the 2008-09 Session. On December 4, 2008, Coffee named the Vice Chairs and on Dec. 18, 2008, assigned members to all committees:

  • Appropriations Committee: Sen. Mike Johnson (Kingfisher), Chair, and Sen. David Myers (Ponca City), Vice Chair
  • -- Appropriations Subcommittee on Education: Sen. Jim Halligan (Stillwater), Chair, and Sen. John Ford (Bartlesville), Vice Chair
  • -- Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services: Sen. Brian Crain (Tulsa), Chair, and Sen. Patrick Anderson (Enid), Vice Chair
  • -- Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources and Regulatory Services: Sen. David Myers (Ponca City), Chair; Sen. Ron Justice (Chickasha), Vice Chair
  • -- Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government and Transportation: Sen. Randy Brogdon (Owasso), Chair; Sen. Brian Bingman (Sapulpa), Vice Chair
  • -- Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety: Sen. Anthony Sykes (Moore), Chair; and Jim Reynolds (Oklahoma City), Vice Chair
  • Agriculture and Rural Development Committee: Sen. Ron Justice (Chickasha), Chair, and Sen. Mike Schulz (Altus), Vice Chair
  • Business and Labor Committee: Sen. Harry Coates (Seminole), Chair, and Sen. Dan Newberry (Tulsa), Vice Chair
  • Education Committee: Sen. John Ford (Bartlesville), Chair; Sen. Clark Jolley (Edmond), Vice Chair
  • Energy and Environment Committee: Sen. Brian Bingman (Sapulpa), Chair, and Sen. Randy Brogdon (Owasso), Vice Chair
  • Finance Committee: Sen. Mike Mazzei (Tulsa), Chair, and Sen. Gary Stanislawski (Tulsa), Vice Chair
  • General Government Committee: Sen. Cliff Aldridge (Choctaw), Chair, and Sen. Roger Ballenger (Okmulgee), Vice Chair
  • Health and Human Resources Committee: Sen. Clark Jolley (Edmond), Chair, and Sen. Sean Burrage (Claremore), Vice Chair
  • Judiciary Committee: Sen. Patrick Anderson (Enid), Chair; Sen. Susan Paddack (Ada), Vice Chair
  • Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee: Sen. Don Barrington (Lawton), Chair, and Sen. Steve Russell (Oklahoma City), Vice Chair
  • Retirement and Insurance Committee: Sen. Bill Brown (Broken Arrow), Chair, and Sen. Cliff Aldridge (Choctaw), Vice Chair
  • Rules Committee: Sen. Jonathan Nichols (Norman), Chair, and Sen. Earl Garrison (Muskogee), Vice Chair
  • Tourism and Wildlife Committee: Sen. Mike Schulz (Altus), Chair, and Sen. Jerry Ellis (Hugo), Vice Chair
  • Transportation Committee: Sen. Cliff Branan (Nichols Hills), Chair, and Sen. Bryce Marlatt (Woodward), Vice Chair
  • Veterans and Military Affairs Committee: Sen. Jim Reynolds (Oklahoma City), Chair, and Sen. Don Barrington (Lawton), Vice Chair

Court of Impeachment

The Senate serves a dual role as both a legislative body and as a judicial court. In performing is role as the Court of Impeachment, the Senate serves as an independent court in the Oklahoma court system. Impeachment charges are brought by the House of Representatives, and they are heard by the Senate, with the Chief Justice of Oklahoma presiding, unless the Chief Justice or any member of the Oklahoma Supreme Court is charged, in which case the Senate shall select one of its own members to preside.

Impeachment charges may only be brought against the Governor and all other statewide elected state officials (including the Oklahoma Supreme Court Justices) for willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, habitual drunkenness, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude committed while in office. If impeached, all officials are immediately suspended in discharging their duties. Should the impeachment fail, the officer in question returns to their duties. However, if the impeachment is successful and the defendant found guilty, the person is removed from office.

See also


External links

the end

Simple English

Oklahoma Senate
Type Upper house of Oklahoma Legislature
President of the Senate Jari Askins, D
since January 2, 2007
President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan (D) and Glenn Coffee (R)
Members 48
Political groups Democratic Party
Republican Party
Last elections November 7, 2006
Meeting place Oklahoma State Capitol
Web site http://www.oksenate.gov/

The Oklahoma Senate is the upper house of the two houses of the Legislature of Oklahoma, the lower house being the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The total number of Senators is set at 48 by the Oklahoma Constitution.


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