Senate Republicans have elected Mike Schulz as President Pro Tempore-designate of the Oklahoma State Senate. The Altus Republican is the first Pro Tempore from western Oklahoma in more than 50 years. Schulz will lead a historic Republican Caucus that includes 42 members, the largest majority held by either party since 1965, when the Senate went from 44 seats to 48 to assure equal representation for citizens across the state.
“I’m deeply honored to be elected the next Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate. I appreciate the confidence placed in me by my Republican colleagues and I look forward to working with each of them to make Oklahoma a stronger and more prosperous state,” Schulz said. “The challenges we face look overwhelming at times, but we can overcome them all by working together. Senate Republicans are serious about working toward long-term solutions and I know the enthusiasm, expertise, and experience of the men and women in this caucus will help us make Oklahoma stronger.”
Senate Republicans named Schulz President Pro Tem-designate in April. This week’s vote allowed the 13 freshmen members of the Senate Republican Caucus the chance to vote in leadership elections.
Schulz previously served as Floor Leader of the Senate, a position he has held since 2011. He was first elected to the Senate in 2006 in a special election. The Senate will organize in January, at which time the Pro Tem will be officially elected by the entire Senate, and rules for the 2017 session will be passed.
Schulz announces Senate leadership appointments
Schulz announced two appointments to key leadership positions in the Senate. He has named Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, as Floor Leader.
“Oklahoma is a tremendous state already, but our best days are ahead. We face some big challenges but Senate Republicans are ready and look forward to offering up ideas that will help us reach that brighter future,” Treat said. “I’m honored that Pro Tem Schulz would appoint me to serve as Floor Leader, and I look forward to working with him and my Senate colleagues on bold ideas to lead our state forward.”
Schulz named Sen. Kim David, R-Porter, as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. David is the first woman in the history of the Senate to be named to that position.
“Despite our recent and persistent budget challenges, there are real opportunities for innovative reforms to fund core functions of government that ensure Oklahomans get the best return on their tax dollars. I’m excited about the challenge and look forward to working with Pro Tem Schulz, my Senate colleagues, and the people of this great state,” David said.
At a later date, Schulz will announce the committee structure, committee chairs, and committee appointments.
Republicans elect other leadership positions
Senate Republicans also voted to fill leadership positions:
Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, was elected Chair of the Republican Caucus.
Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, was elected Vice-Chair of the Republican Caucus
Sen. Eddie Fields, R-Wynona, was elected Assistant Majority Floor Leader
Sen. Bryce Marlatt, R-Woodward, was elected Assistant Majority Floor Leader
Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, was elected Assistant Majority Floor Leader
Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, was elected Majority Whip
Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, was elected Majority Whip
Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, was elected Majority Whip
Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, was elected Majority Whip