Incoming Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon announced the first round of appointments to powerful leadership posts today, tapping a diverse cross-section of the majority Republican Caucus.
"I have worked with these members for years as I served in the legislature, and now it is my honor to serve with them as leaders of this great body," said Speaker-elect Shannon, R-Lawton. "Each of them brings different talents, experiences and perspectives to our leadership team, and they will serve our colleagues well in their new positions."
Shannon chose Rep. Fred Jordan, R-Tulsa, and Rep. Dennis Johnson, R-Duncan, as Majority Leaders to help lead the House. Each will bring a unique perspective and experience to the job. Rep. Jordan, an attorney and businessman from Tulsa, and Rep. Johnson, a small business owner from Duncan, both bring separate talents that will help steer the House agenda both within the House of Representatives and with other branches of government.
Rep. Jordan expressed his eagerness to serve as Majority Leader.
"I'm honored to be serving at such a critical time in Oklahoma's history,” said Jordan. “There are many important issues before us, and it will take a lot of hard work and unity for us to come up with solutions. I look forward to being a part of that process, and I am grateful for the confidence placed in me by Speaker-elect Shannon."
"The House majority party is a diverse group of talented, experienced people who have lots of energy," said Johnson. "All of us will be working hard throughout the next session to push our specific bills through the legislative process. It gets pretty intense at times, so, one of the duties of the Majority Leader will be to help the Caucus stay focused. A unified Majority Caucus with common goals will be crucial to our success. I look forward to the task."
To serve as the next Majority Floor Leader, Shannon chose veteran legislator Pam Peterson, R-Tulsa. A former Majority Whip and senior member of the House, Peterson's legislative experience will serve the House well as the next Majority Floor Leader.
"I'm very humbled and honored to have this opportunity," said Peterson. "I am looking forward to serving with Speaker-elect Shannon in this new leadership role."
To serve as the next Majority Whip, Shannon chose Rep. Todd Thomsen, R-Ada. Rep. Thomsen serves as a coordinator for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"This is a very humbling opportunity for me, and I am honored that our Speaker-elect would ask me to serve in this capacity," said Thomsen. "I am very thankful to be able to serve my colleagues and my constituents in this leadership role, and I will do my best to earn their trust."
And finally, Shannon tapped Norman Republican Scott Martin to chair the powerful Appropriations and Budget Committee. Rep. Martin currently serves as the vice-chair of the Appropriations and Budget Committee.
"Chairing the Budget Committee is probably one of the toughest jobs in the House, but I'm up to the task," said Martin. "You don't make a lot of friends when you have to tell people 'no', but taking care of our tax dollars means we have to say 'no' to a lot of spending items.
“Considering all the uncertainty we are seeing with the federal budget, this could prove to be a difficult year for our budget here in Oklahoma. I'm honored to have this position, and I will work hard every day to watch over our tax dollars."
Shannon said he will be announcing other leadership positions in the coming weeks, including the list of committee chairmen and vice-chairmen.
"We haven't finalized every position yet, but I feel very confident we have a strong and talented group of leaders from throughout the Caucus," said Shannon. "Things feel really good right now. Our Caucus is energized and unified, and I am very optimistic about what we can accomplish this session."
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