Twenty-four members of the Oklahoma State Senate, including nine freshmen, will be officially sworn in at noon on Thursday, November 16, 2006, in the Senate chamber of the State Capitol. The Honorable Joseph M. Watt, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, will administer the oath of office on the 99th anniversary of Oklahoma’s statehood.
“As we head into our centennial year, it seems very appropriate that the first official act of this body, taking the solemn oath of office, will take place on Statehood Day,” said Sen. President Pro Tempore Mike Morgan, D-Stillwater. “We are making history as we prepare to lay the foundation for Oklahoma’s next 100 years.”
As a result of the 2007 election, the 48-member Oklahoma State Senate is tied with 24 Democrat and 24 Republican members.
“This is unprecedented in our state’s history, but this also means we have an unprecedented opportunity to work together for the common good of the great state of Oklahoma,” said Republican Leader Glenn Coffee of Oklahoma City.
Newly elected members taking the oath of office include Sean Burrage, D-Claremore; Roger Ballenger, D-Okmulgee; Joe Sweeden, D-Pawhuska; Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa; John Sparks, D-Norman; Anthony Sykes, R-Moore; Tom Ivester, D-Elk City; Bill Brown, R-Broken Arrow; and Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City.
Returning members taking the oath of office include Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau; Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant; Johnnie Crutchfield, D-Ardmore; Mary Easley, D-Tulsa; David Myers, R-Ponca City; Mike Johnson, R-Kingfisher; Harry Coates, R-Seminole; Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City; Randy Bass, D-Lawton; Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso; Mike Schulz, R-Altus; Cliff Branan, R-Oklahoma City; Cliff Aldridge, R-Midwest City; Debbe Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City; and Constance N. Johnson, D-Oklahoma City.
The visitor’s gallery of the Senate chamber will be open to family, friends, supporters and other members of the public who wish to attend. Streaming video and audio of the ceremony will also be available on the Senate website at www.oksenate.gov.
There will be a brief reception in the Senate lounge following Thursday’s ceremony. Freshmen members will return to the Capitol on Friday, November 17, to begin orientation, with a second day of orientation slated for December 5.
The full Senate will return for an organizational day on Tuesday, January 2, 2007, with the First Session of the 51st Legislature formally convening on Monday, February 5.