| September 20, 2010

State capitol reboot: 'An opportunity to be bold'

On July 27th, I was elected to represent the 30th District of Oklahoma in our state Senate. Very soon, I will join 148 other legislators and 11 statewide elected officials at the Capitol to be about the people's business.

As I journey there in hopes of making a contribution to the future of this state, I will turn to thinkers like the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs’ scholars for intellectual capital. I will also find inspiration in OCPA's always-bold approach, because my fellow policymakers and I will arrive at a remarkable moment in Oklahoma history.

Upon the contrasting canvas of anxiety in national politics and optimism in Oklahoma's capital metropolis, our state leadership will experience an unprecedented reboot. Regardless of who wins in November, Oklahoma will be led in 2011 by a new Governor, a new Senate President Pro Tempore, a new Speaker of the House, a new Attorney General, a new Lt. Governor, a new Superintendent of Public Instruction, and a new Treasurer.

The opportunities presented by such turnover are extraordinary. A fresh crop of leaders, representing a constituency starved for political courage like never before, will arrive with a strong mandate and a newcomer's enthusiasm. The ground will be fertile for a transformation of our state government into something we can be uniquely proud of.

This is an opportunity to be bold, and I hope we will unite in a conviction to do so. We are overdue to address some major challenges at the state level that conservative organizations like OCPA have talked about for years. The blueprint is already written, and with this opportunity we have no excuse if we fail to think big.

We should be brave enough to reconsider the status quo. We should innovate and capture imaginations. Let Oklahoma be a laboratory that sets an example for our troubled nation. These fresh faces can ignite a new era of ideas.

The window of opportunity is now open. Foundations for governance are laid in campaigns. I urge my soon-to-be colleagues to embrace the moment and to tell your voters that you are running to be part of a new era. And then come to the Capitol prepared to follow through and make your legacy.

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