Oklahoma House committee chairman pulls out of speaker's race

MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am •  Published: August 10, 2009
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Rep. Ken Miller, chairman of the House budget committee, today pulled out of his bid to be speaker and endorsed Speaker Pro Tempore Kris Steele for the powerful legislative position.

"After having positive and substantive discussions over the weekend, I am pleased to announce my support of Representative Steele in his efforts to become the next speaker of the House," said Miller, R-Edmond.

"While I am honored to have been a part of the conversation concerning future House leadership, I do not plan to seek the position of speaker-designate in the fall and look forward to working closely with Representative Steele to move our state forward," said Miller, chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.

No other House Republican has expressed interest in the position. As a result Steele, R-Shawnee, is likely to become the next speaker.

"Representative Ken Miller is a valuable member and a talented legislator," Steele said. "I'm honored and pleased to have his support and look forward to working together with him to grow our economy and tackle the important issues facing our state."

House Speaker Chris Benge, R-Tulsa, is term limited and cannot seek re-election.

Benge will remain speaker through November 2010. Republicans control the House, 61-39.

House Republicans will meet in October in a closed meeting to formally vote on Benge's successor. The winner will receive the title of speaker designate. The entire House will elect the speaker after the November 2010 elections.


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