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Oklahoma's two new congressmen begin service in House

Republican Reps. Jim Bridenstine and Markwayne Mullin thank their families for sacrifices as they begin their congressional careers
by Chris Casteel Published: January 4, 2013

— Hours before he was to be sworn in Thursday as the new congressman for eastern Oklahoma, Markwayne Mullin went to pick up his congressional lapel pin and one for his wife, Christie.

The two pinned them on each other and Mullin said he felt like they were getting married again.

“And I came in and shared the story with Congressman (James) Lankford and he busted my bubble,” Mullin said at a Capitol Hill reception on Thursday.

“He goes, ‘When you got married, the ring represented the time you're going to spend together. When you get the pin, it represents the time you're going to spend apart.'”

Mullin, 35, a Republican from Westville, repeatedly thanked his wife and three young children for the sacrifices they made in his first campaign for public office and for the sacrifices to come as he spends weeks away from them.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, another freshman, made a similar speech in the hour before he officially became a congressman, thanking his wife and three young children and his father, who came out of retirement to campaign for him.

Bridenstine, 37, and Mullin will be part of an Oklahoma congressional delegation that is all Republican for the first time since 2000.

Bridenstine told the veteran Oklahoma House members, family members, friends and congressional staff assembled for the reception that his immediate goal isn't to serve the 1st District of Oklahoma but to “save our country.”

“It's going to be daunting to say the least, but it's a true honor,” he said.

The parents of both Mullin and Bridenstine attended the ceremonies.

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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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