The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 6, 2014

History in the making with northwest Oklahoma speaker

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Three’s a crowd for the battle to be speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives after T.W. Shannon stepped aside to run for U.S. Senate.

State Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, dropped out of the race Wednesday, leaving Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Dacoma, and Rep. Mike Jackson, R-Enid, the acting speaker.

History is in the making for this powerful position, as the next speaker is sure to be from northwest Oklahoma. And that’s a great thing.

Hickman, a former speaker pro tem, was born in Alva and raised in the Cherokee and Dacoma areas.

The fifth generation of his family to own and farm land in Alfalfa and Woods Counties, Hickman is a 1992 graduate of Cherokee High School and a 1996 journalism grad from the University of Oklahoma.

Hickman lost the speaker’s post to Shannon by only one vote, according to the Tulsa World. Since then, however, more than a dozen seats changed hands.

Jackson, the current speaker pro tem, has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences and natural resources in agricultural communications from Oklahoma State University. A former public information officer for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, he served as a field representative for U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.

Both Republicans are working to secure enough votes to be become speaker.

The 72-member House caucus should elect the next leader Monday during a closed-door meeting.

Either way, that’s great news for our readers. Both men are known to be levelheaded consensus-builders.

The chosen speaker will represent our area well.