The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Members of the new 70-strong Republican majority in the Oklahoma House are meeting to elect a minister from Shawnee as their new speaker-elect.
The House Republican caucus met Thursday to select state Rep. Kris Steele for the top post in the House. Steele already had been elected the speaker-designate, but Thursday's meeting will be the first with freshly elected lawmakers.
After Tuesday's election in which Republicans picked up eight new seats, the GOP now has a 70-31 advantage in the 101-member House. The record majority is a political reversal from the makeup of the Legislature just 12 years ago.
Steele still must be formally elected speaker by the entire House early next year before the start of the 2011 session.