Last Wednesday, the new members of the House of Representatives took the oath of office. Unlike Congress, the Oklahoma Legislature does not conduct lame duck sessions. Just eight days after the election, new representatives are already on the job. Because of this, state policy won’t be determined by those who have been defeated at the polls or are no longer in office. At this time, representatives also start officially representing the House Districts that were redrawn following the 2010 census.
Because of rapid area growth, House District 31 now covers an area about half the size of the previous district. In the past, the district I serve included almost all of Logan County and a portion of north Oklahoma County.
Following redistricting, the district now includes the south half of Logan County from County Line to Indian Meridian Road, part of north Edmond and about 40 percent of the Deer Creek area in northwest Oklahoma County.
Taking their oath of office for the first time on Wednesday were two freshman Republican representatives with whom I will share representation of these areas.
State Rep. Mike Turner represents House District 82. After redistricting, this district now takes in the other half of the Deer Creek area. I have enjoyed getting to know Rep. Turner and have developed a strong respect for his knowledge and enthusiasm for using technology to make state government smaller and more efficient.
I look forward to working with Turner as both a potential member of the House Government Modernization Committee and as the other member of the Deer Creek delegation in the House. Under the new redistricting plan, Turner also represents part of the Edmond area and I expect that he will join the Edmond legislative delegation as well.
State Rep. Jason Smalley represents House District 32. This district now includes the eastern part of Logan County including Meridian and Langston. It also includes all of the areas east of Indian Meridian Road that previously were located within House District 31.
I have gotten to know Smalley as we worked together during the recent campaign cycle and I know that eastern Logan County will be well served with him as their state representative.
Smalley’s election has been extremely well received by the House Republican caucus as House District 32 represents one of four new legislative seats picked up by Republican House members. With Smalley’s election, Republicans now hold 72 of the 101 house districts, which is a new record for Oklahoma. As a result of the election, all five Logan County legislative seats and all eight county offices are filled by Republican office holders.
Frequent readers of these articles know of my optimistic view of the benefits of the infusion of new personalities and talents into the Legislature. I believe these two new representatives provide a case-in-point demonstration of this observation.
REP. JASON MURPHEY, R-Guthrie, represents House District 31, which encompasses all of Logan County and a portion of northern Edmond. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at facebook.com/JasonMurphey and Twitter.com/JWMurphey.