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New Tulsa Rep. Jim Bridenstine refuses to back new term for House Speaker John Boehner

In his first vote, the tea party-backed Republican declares his independence from House Republican establishment
by Chris Casteel Modified: January 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm •  Published: January 4, 2013

National tea party organizations had been calling for Boehner's ouster. In his campaign, Bridenstine was endorsed by Tulsa's 9.12 Project, which is aligned with tea party values, and the Restoring America Project, founded by tea party leaders.

With the help of other Oklahoma House members and Boehner's approval, Bridenstine last month landed a coveted spot on the House Armed Services Committee. However, committee assignments can still be changed.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, Oklahoma's other new House member, backed Boehner. He said before the vote that House Republicans had settled the question in November when they voted on the leadership team and selected Boehner as candidate for speaker.

The official House vote on Thursday pitted Boehner against Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat and former speaker whose party is in the minority. Boehner got 220 votes to Pelosi's 192.

It was the second consecutive opening day of Congress in which an Oklahoman strayed from the party line in the leadership vote. In 2011, Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, refused to back Pelosi, casting his vote for Rep. Heath Shuler, of North Carolina. Boren and Shuler both retired this year.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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