It didn’t take long for a candidate to step forward for a western Oklahoma House seat that will be vacated later this month.
Todd Russ of Cordell said today he is running for the state House District 55 seat now held by Rep. Ryan McMullen.
McMullen, D-Burns Flat, was named last week as the new state director of rural development for the U.S. Agriculture Department. McMullen said he would step down from his legislative seat the middle of this month.
The governor has 30 days after McMullen resigns to set a date for a special election to fill McMullen’s seat.
Russ, a Republican, said he decided to run after making calls and visiting with people in the district.
Russ, 48, narrowly lost a state Senate bid in 2006. He lost in the Senate District 26 race in southwestern Oklahoma. He had 9,110 votes compared with 9.383 for Democrat Tom Ivester of Sayre. The Senate district encompasses much of House District 55.
Russ, who serves on the Cordell City Council, is the past president and chief executive officer of Washita State Bank in Burns Flat. He sold the majority of his bank stock last year and is now doing management consulting with banks and small businesses.
- Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau