Oklahoma House Names Jeff Hickman of Fairview as New SpeakerTue, 11 Feb 2014 05:33:50 CST
The Oklahoma House of Representatives has a new Speaker. The 72 House Republican caucus members this morning selected Jeff Hickman of Fairview to replace outgoing Speaker T.W. Shannon. The full House voted along party lines 69-29 this afternoon to confirm Hickman.
"I think it's a great deal for Oklahoma," says John Collison of Oklahoma Farm Bureau. "Jeff Hickman's been around a long time from up in northwest Oklahoma. He's been a massive friend of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and we look for that friendship to continue."
Governor Mary Fallin applauded Hickman's selection to the top House post.
"Jeff Hickman is a dedicated leader who has earned the respect of his colleagues," said Fallin. "I am confident he will be an effective and hardworking speaker of the House. I look forward to working with him in his new role as we continue to pursue commonsense conservative policies that will help create jobs and eliminate government waste."
Hickman was elected to represent House District 58 in 2005. The district covers Alfalfa, Major, Woods and Woodward Counties in northwest Oklahoma. He was born in Alva in 1973 and graduated from Cherokee High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma in 1996.
Collison said his organization is excited about the prospect of having another speaker from rural Oklahoma. He said representatives of other farm organizations seem equally pleased with Hickman's selection.
Collison says that Hickman has learned how to bring together urban and rural lawmakers and he expects a smooth transition from former Speaker T.W. Shannon's leadership.
Shannon stepped down as Speaker of the House last week when he announced he would run to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated early by Dr. Tom Coburn.
Hickman has previously served as the speaker pro-tem and failed to gain the top spot by a narrow margin to Shannon during the last legislative session.
You can listen to more of John Collison's comments on the new Speaker of the House as well as the Ag Groups meeting on Monday midday to discuss ag and rural issues that may be tackled by the State Legislature by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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