House Elects Speaker, Formally Seats Members for 56th Legislature
Oklahoma House MediaOklahoma City
4 January 2017
The full House of Representatives officially elected state Rep. Charles A. McCall to serve as Speaker of the House for the 56th Oklahoma Legislature today during Organizational Day.
Organizational Day is a Constitutionally mandated day for the Legislature to convene and certify the election results from November, formally seat newly elected members and elect House leadership.
Speaker McCall said he intends for his term to be marked by conservative policies, accountability, a willingness to listen to every member of the House and a leadership style that encourages input and the contribution of innovative ideas.
“Our focus needs to be primarily on creating an environment that encourages the creation and expansion of small businesses, relocation of large businesses to our state and reduction in regulations that prohibit economic growth,” said Speaker McCall, R-Atoka. “When state revenues are down, it is because the personal incomes of our citizens are down. All 101 members of the House need to devote our attention toward making Oklahomans prosperous again.”
McCall is only the eighth Republican speaker in state history, and the seventh consecutive since voters gave Republicans control of the House of Representatives in 2004. He is the first Speaker of the House from Atoka.
The full body also elected state Rep. Harold Wright to serve as Speaker Pro-Tempore of the House. Wright is now the highest-ranking lawmaker from Weatherford to ever serve in the Legislature.
“We have a strong leadership team in the House of Representatives, and I am very confident in our ability to not only solve the problems we are facing but also to develop ideas that move Oklahoma forward,” said Wright, R-Weatherford. “I am excited about working with Speaker McCall and House Republicans during the next two years. There is real opportunity to advance policies that actually improve people’s lives.”
The House also certified the election results from November 8, 2016 and seated all 101 members of the House. Every House member must run for re-election every two years. This year, 32 new members and 69 incumbents were elected to the House.
The House will reconvene on February 6 to begin the 56th Oklahoma Legislature.