With his final session in the State Legislature drawing to a close, members of the Oklahoma State Senate paid tribute Tuesday to Sen. Jeff Rabon. The Hugo Democrat leaves office this year due to term limits.
Rabon’s career in public service began long before he was elected to the Senate in 1996. Shortly after graduating from college, Rabon worked as a field representative for U.S. Sen. David Boren. He later worked as co-campaign manager and special assistant for U.S. Rep. Bill Brewster. Rabon also served as legislative liaison for the National Rifle Association, as well as senior administrative assistant for Lt. Gov. Jack Mildren.
Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan and Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee were among the members who thanked Rabon for his years of service.
“I don’t believe I have ever seen another member as passionate about Oklahoma, its people and its traditions as Senator Rabon,” Morgan said. “He has been dedicated to the cause of preserving those traditions and helping create a better future for all Oklahomans.”
Coffee also praised Rabon’s dedication to the state.
“Senator Rabon always fought for what he believed in, and I know he has served the citizens of Southeastern Oklahoma well,” Coffee said.
Fellow members praised Rabon’s dedication to natural resources, rural economic improvement and for his support of Native Americans in Oklahoma.
Rabon is the Co-Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation, and also is a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Tourism and Wildlife, Veterans and Military Affairs and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary. He has also served as chair of the Joint Committee on Tribal Relations, as well as chairing the Senate Finance committee. Rabon has served as Assistant Co-Floor Leader of the Senate since 2004 and has often been called upon to preside over the chamber.
“Our family roots in Oklahoma run deep, and I cannot imagine a greater honor than the privilege I have had these past 12 years representing District 5 in the Oklahoma State Senate,” Rabon said. “It has been an honor and an experience I will never forget.”
Joining Rabon in the Senate Chamber were Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby and Choctaw Chief Gregory E. Pyle. Among the other special guests attending Tuesday’s ceremony were Rabon’s wife, Dana Bates Rabon, sons Jeff and Jackson and daughter Berrie Shannon, parents Bob and Linda Rabon and brother Bobby Rabon, as well as many other relatives, friends and supporters.