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First female Oklahoma House majority floor leader named

Speaker-elect names a Tulsa lawmaker to fill the post. He also promotes the House budget committee's vice chairman to the top spot.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: December 4, 2012
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The first black person to serve as House speaker has selected the first woman to serve as majority floor leader in the state's 105-year history.

House Speaker-elect T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, named Rep. Pam Peterson on Monday to serve as majority floor leader for the 54th Legislature. The two-year session begins Feb. 4.

Peterson, R-Tulsa, will succeed Rep. Dale DeWitt, R-Braman, as majority floor leader. As floor leader, Peterson will be responsible for assigning bills to committees, scheduling bills for floor hearings and running business on the floor during session.

A spokesman for the House said records kept by the House indicate Peterson is the first woman to serve as majority floor leader there.

“I'm very humbled and honored to have this opportunity,” said Peterson, who was elected to the House in 2002. “I am looking forward to serving with Speaker-elect Shannon in this new leadership role.”

Shannon, who was selected speaker-elect last month by the Republican-controlled majority in the House, also named a Norman lawmaker to head up a powerful budget committee. Rep. Scott Martin, R-Norman, has served as vice chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee for the past four years. He will succeed Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, who headed up the panel the past two years.

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