Senate Republicans met today for the first time since Election Day and elected Sapulpa Republican Senator Brian Bingman as their new leader and Senate President Pro Tempore-designate. Senator Bingman also announced his selection of Senator Mike Schulz of Altus as Floor Leader. The caucus, looking forward to an unprecedented 32-16 majority in the State Senate, came out of the meeting united and looking ahead to electing the remainder of their leadership team next Tuesday, November 16.
"We have significant challenges facing us in the 2011 legislative session," Bingman said, "but with this outstanding new group of Senators with which I'll be working, I'm ready for the challenge. Our caucus brings a diverse array of experience but a united sense of mission and passion in facing the challenges ahead of us. We're ready to go to work."
Bingman, an Assistant Majority Floor Leader in the previous Senate, will be officially elected to the position of Pro Tem on the Senate Organizational Day in January. He was re-elected to his Senate seat this year without opposition.
The new Senate will include nine new Republican senators. Six seats have switched to Republican, including Senate District 4 (Mark Allen), SD 6 (Josh Brecheen), SD 10 (Eddie Fields), SD 14 (Frank Simpson), SD 18 (Kim David), and SD 44 (Ralph Shortey). In addition, the Senate will welcome three Freshmen in current Republican seats with the elections of Senators-elect Rob Johnson (SD 22), David Holt (SD 30), and Rick Brinkley (SD 34), who won current GOP seats in their primary elections, and were not opposed in the General Election.
The new Senate will be sworn in on Tuesday, November 16. The Senate will organize on Tuesday, January 4, at which time the new Pro Tem will be officially elected, and rules for the 2011 session will be passed.