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Sparks ousted as Oklahoma Senate Democrat leader

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: April 10, 2014

Democratic state Sen. Randy Bass of Lawton has been tapped to lead Senate Democrats after the 2014 elections, ousting the caucus’ previous selection of a state senator from Norman.

Bass told The Associated Press Thursday he would replace Sen. John Sparks as the Senate minority leader-elect in the fall, but declined to discuss the matter further. He said the 12 Senate Democrats would release a joint statement after candidate filing ends on Friday. Sparks did not immediately return a telephone message.

Both Sparks and Bass were vying to replace Claremore attorney Sen. Sean Burrage, who is resigning.

Sparks was picked in February as the Democrats’ next leader, but wrote a newspaper editorial two weeks ago supporting a generous tax incentive for the oil and gas industry that many Democrats oppose.