The Norman Transcript

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May 15, 2013

State legislative leaders pave the way for new district judicial seat in Cleveland County

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“I am happy that the people will be making the decision,” Sykes said in a prepared statement.

Last year, Sykes would not support a judge bill because legislators said he wanted residency for the district judge seat to be confined to the northern portion of Cleveland County, which is part of his senatorial district.

Bobby Cleveland, the lawmaker who pressed fellow lawmakers to approve a judge bill for Cleveland County, said Tuesday, “I don’t care who gets credit for this bill. I am just glad it is being done.”

Cleveland worked to get the language into a bill, before adjournment.

Now the bill returns to both houses, where it is expected to undergo routine final passage. It could be sent to the governor later this week.

“The only explanation for creating an elected office immediately after an election is that you don’t want the people to be part of the process,” Sykes said.

It was unusual for Sykes, a Moore Republican, to issue a press release, since it has been his practice not to talk to the media.

In the release, Sykes invited those who wanted more information to call him at 521-5569.

“I am a firm believer that all power in our government comes from the consent of the governed and that the people should choose their leaders. It is sad that critics did not care enough to read the three-page bill or two-page amendment and notice that the people were being cut out of the process in both of these prior versions,” he said.

Martin said the agreement unveiled Tuesday will help the court system better address the large number of caseloads received.

“This additional judge, when elected, will provide much-needed relief to the court docket, which currently is meeting and exceeding capacity,” said Martin, a Norman Republican, who is chairman of the House budget committee that determines where the money goes.

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