State House appropriations chairman jumps into speaker's race - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

State House appropriations chairman jumps into speaker's race

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Republican state Representative Chris Benge of Tulsa is jumping into the crowded race to become the next speaker of the Oklahoma House.

The 43-year-old is the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee and represents the House in budget negotiations with Senate leaders.

Benge joins current Speaker Pro Tem Susan Winchester of Chickasha and House Floor Leader Lance Cargill of Harrah in the race. All three are vying to succeed current House Speaker Todd Hiett of Kellyville, who will step down because of term limits.

Meanwhile GOP Representative Mark Liotta of Tulsa has withdrawn from the speaker's race and says he plans to seek the House's Number Two job of speaker pro tem.
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