Metropolitan-area clout is increasing in the Legislature, one of the predicted results of redistricting after the 2010 census. But the decline of traditional rural dominance of the state House and Senate was happening already.
Incoming House Speaker T.W. Shannon is from Lawton. He’s named two Tulsans to key leadership posts. Another top job went to a Norman legislator. The Senate is run by a man from Sapulpa.
Recent House speakers have been from Shawnee, Tulsa, Harrah and suburban Creek County. Prior to that, speakers hailed from Okemah, Frederick and Stillwell.
The first speaker, “Alfalfa” Bill Murray, was from Tishomingo. Other early speakers included men from Cereal and Barlow, two towns that no longer make the map.
Despite declines in rural dominance, the last speaker who actually lived in Oklahoma City was J.D. McCarty. He left office in 1967 and was one of only four men from either Oklahoma City or Tulsa to be speaker.