The Norman Transcript


February 9, 2014

Longtime friends face off in race for Oklahoma House speaker



Hickman worked as press secretary for University of Oklahoma President David Boren, a former U.S. senator and governor, while Jackson served as a field representative for current U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe. Both have pledged to run again for another two-year term as speaker if elected to the post, and each said they have no interest in getting elected with the help of the chamber’s 29 Democrats and serving as a coalition speaker.

“At the end of the day, we’re all Republicans, and the people of the state have asked us to govern, and we’re going to get that job done,” Hickman said.

Jackson currently serves as speaker pro tem, the No. 2 position in the House, and was one of Shannon’s top lieutenants. Hickman previously served as speaker pro tem under former House Speaker Kris Steele, and Hickman lost to Shannon in the speaker’s race two years ago by a razor-thin margin.

For his part, Shannon said he had no interest in influencing the outcome of the race.

“I’m not getting involved in that one,” Shannon said. “I have one vote on Monday, just like every other member.”

The leadership structure would remain virtually unchanged if the body elects Jackson, who praised Shannon for his ability to lead a caucus with a wide political spectrum, including a boisterous right wing.

“It would basically be a continuation, but I’m not T.W. Shannon,” Jackson said. “If they decide to elect me, I would have to lead the caucus the best way I see fit, and get input from the members of our caucus as well.”

While Jackson said he feels confident with the number of supporters he has in the caucus, he acknowledges there is “some fluidity” to the race.

One key group critical in determining the outcome will be the 13 Republicans elected in 2012. Although each one cast a vote for speaker after their election, this time they’ve gotten to know each of the candidates, their strengths and weaknesses.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Tampering accusations surface in OKC bombing case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawyer suing the FBI over his public records request for surveillance videos from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing said Tuesday that one of his witnesses backed out after being visited by government officials last ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Christie set to visit state for fundraiser

    OKLAHOMA CITY — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is planning a return trip to Oklahoma after a December ice storm forced him to cancel a scheduled appearance with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin....

    July 30, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Scam targets migrants

    HOUSTON — Scammers have been preying on the relatives of unaccompanied young migrants being held at two U.S. military bases by conning them into paying nonexistent fees to be reunited with their loved ones, officials said....

    July 27, 2014

  • Trial delayed for man in murder case

    DUNCAN — The first-degree murder trial of a Velma man charged with killing a 16-year-old girl has been delayed until January....

    July 27, 2014

  • Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    OKLAHOMA CITY — One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. What some consider a far-flung ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Man found dead outside Tulsa home

    TULSA — Police in Tulsa are investigating the death of a man whose body was found outside a house on the city’s north side....

    July 27, 2014

  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014