The Norman Transcript


October 4, 2013

Former legislator Thad Balkman hired to county district judge post



In the Legislature, Balkman said, “I learned a lot about drug and mental health courts” that have a major impact in helping those arrested for drug and alcohol abuse.

He also promoted legislation to direct $8 million to be used to establish 10 drug court programs that seek alternatives to incarceration.

Balkman was a co-author of legislation authorizing “Choose Life” license plates for the public.

“This was not anti-abortion legislation. It was pro-adoption,” he said, noting that licenses plate proceeds go to agencies that provide adoption services.

For the past four years, Balkman has worked as a consultant and lobbyist at the state Capitol.

Balkman’s chief client was the Oklahoma Lawyers Association that has approximately 400 members. His job was to monitor laws being proposed and assess how they would affect fellow lawyers. He also talked with lawmakers about how proposed laws could affect their constituents.

Balkman is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and serves as a volunteer bishop. He and his wife, Amy, have five children.

Born in southern California, Balkman said that his ancestors were among some of the first settlers in Oklahoma, including maternal great-great grandfather, John Otey, who made the 1889 land run. He settled in Payne County near the Cimmaron River and the town of Perkins.


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