The Norman Transcript

State/Region

February 9, 2014

Longtime friends face off in race for Oklahoma House speaker

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

“We’ve been up there long enough to kind of see the way things are going,” said freshman Rep. Bobby Cleveland. “And we’ve become a pretty close group of guys, and one lady.”

Rep. Jon Echols, another Republican freshman, said his 12 colleagues have shown to be very thoughtful and deliberative in their approach.

“There’s a strong argument that the three most powerful people in state government are the Senate (president) pro tem, the speaker and the governor,” said Echols, R-Oklahoma City. “This race matters to the people of Oklahoma, and that’s why I’m impressed that this freshman class is really taking their time to be deliberate about this decision.”

After the new speaker is elected during Monday’s closed-door meeting of the House Republicans, the full 101-member House will formally elect the speaker when the session convenes in the afternoon.

———

Sean Murphy can be reached at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

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