Senator Glenn Coffee,
State Capitol Room 418
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
Senator Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward
State Capitol Room 519
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release:
June 29, 2007
Senator Glenn Coffee presides as Co-President Pro Tempore
of the Senate
Republican to Hold Senate President Pro Tem Office for First
Time in History
History will be made Sunday in the Oklahoma Senate when Republican
Senator Glenn Coffee officially becomes the first Republican to
hold the office of Senate President Pro Tempore.
“This is a historic day for the Oklahoma Senate. It is the
first time in state history that a Republican senator has held the
office of Senate President Pro Tem,” stated Senate Republican
Floor Leader Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward.
Democrats had controlled the Senate since statehood until the 2006
elections, when Republican gains created a 24-24 tie. As part of
a power-sharing agreement adopted in January, Senator Mike Morgan
(D-Stillwater) and Coffee (R-Oklahoma City) were elected by senators
to jointly run the Legislature’s upper chamber.
For most of the two-year agreement, Morgan serves as President
Pro Tempore with Coffee as Co-President Pro Tempore. However, during
the month of July, 2007, Coffee assumes the office of President
Pro Tem and Morgan will be Co-President Pro Tem.
“Serving with the first Republican pro tem was very important
for those of us who are term-limited next year. It is symbolic of
the equality of the two parties in the Senate, and represents the
gains Republicans have made with our message of economic freedom,
traditional values, and government accountability,” Laughlin
Because Coffee and Morgan continue to share equal authority, there
is no change in the day-to-day business of the Senate. However,
during the month of July, Coffee is third in the line of succession
as President Pro Tempore, and will serve as acting governor if Gov.
Brad Henry and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins are both out of state.
Coffee said for Republicans, gains in the Senate have helped them
advance a conservative legislative agenda.
“For Republicans, this is not about power or control. It
is about giving good policies such as lawsuit reform, tax relief,
education reform, and pro-life a chance to be heard,” Coffee
said. “Under Democrat control, these issues went nowhere in
the Senate; but, with a tie, we have been able to vote on and pass
many of these bills,” he said.
“It is a historic time for the Republican Party, and for
the current and former senators who have worked so very hard over
the years to elect enough Republicans to put one of our own in the
pro tem’s seat,” Coffee stated.
Coffee said the Senate’s power-sharing agreement has worked
“I want to thank Senator Morgan and every senator for working
so hard to make the power-sharing agreement work so well. The tie
could have resulted in gridlock, but instead the Senate had a very
successful legislative session for the people of Oklahoma,”
For more information contact:
Senator Coffee's Office - (405) 521-5654
Senator Laughlin's Office - (405) 521-5626