Oklahoma loses power in Washington following elections

Sunday, November 7th 2004, 6:03 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- After losing a congressional seat in the 2002 election cycle, Oklahoma is now losing the most influential member of its congressional delegation.

Retiring Senator Don Nickles -- the state's longest serving member in Washington -- is stepping down after 24 years on the job. He'll be replaced by Republican Tom Coburn -- an icon of fiscal and religious conservatives.

And Oklahoma is also gaining part of a political dynasty with the election of Democrat Dan Boren as the new 2nd District representative. Boren's father and grandfather both served in Congress.

But Boren and Coburn won't be able to match the clout of Nickles, who serves as chairman of the Budget Committee. He is also a member of the Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax-related legislation and Social Security.

Committee assignments haven't been handed down yet for Coburn and Boren.