OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Veteran Republican state Rep. Larry Ferguson of Cleveland is the first minority member to be chairman of a standing House committee in more than two decades.
Democratic House Speaker Larry Adair announced Tuesday that Ferguson will head the House Committee on Retirement Laws.
From 1974-76, former Rep. George Camp, an Oklahoma City Republican, was chairman of the House Governmental Reform Committee. Prior to that, former U.S. Rep. John N. Happy Camp, R-Waukomis, was chairman of the House Banking Committee in 1961.
Adair also named 21 other Republicans as vice chairmen of House committees.
Democrats picked up one seat in the November election to increase their numbers to 52. There are 49 Republicans in the 101-member body.
In another unusual move, the speaker named two freshmen to leadership posts. Rep. Joe Dorman was selected as assistant majority leader and Rep. Judy McIntyre was picked to be among a group of Adair's close political advisers.
``We have a lot of talented new members and they will be heavily involved in the legislative process over the next two years,'' Adair said.