As political hopefuls file for office this week, an internal contest among Oklahoma Republicans is heating up.
The chamber’s current leader Sen. Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, is term-limited at the end of this session, and two GOP lawmakers are facing off to become the next Senate President Pro Tem.
Until this week, state Sen. Mike Schulz, R-Altus, was the only person who'd visibly shown interest. But as The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports, state Sen. Ralph Shortey, R-Oklahoma City, told his fellow Senators he wants to run:
Shortey said he started campaigning for the position because he disagrees with Schulz’s leadership style.
“I think we’ve done a lot of good things, but in my experience in running business and also the nonprofit world, I have a different perspective on leadership,” said Shortey. “I think leadership needs to be bottom-up.”
Schulz, said Shortey, would keep power concentrated in the hands of a small, select group.
“I think that would be better fit to serve the people of the state if that power is distributed among the membership,” he said.
The closed-door election between the two men will be April 27. Around the same time, Republicans in the state House will choose between state Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, and state Rep. Charles McCall, R-Atoka, as the next speaker.