Newly named Secretary of State Chris Benge
By Greg Janetka
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma: Former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Chris Benge (R) has been named to take over as Secretary of State beginning November 8. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) made the appointment today. Before assuming the role Benge will need to be confirmed by the Oklahoma State Senate. He would be the fourth to serve in the role this year.
Benge takes over for Larry Parman (R), whom Fallin named as both the new director of the state Department of Commerce and as her secretary of commerce earlier this month, both effective November 1. Parman has served as secretary of state since March 1 of this year. He replaced interim officeholder Michelle Day who served for a month following Glenn Coffee's resignation on February 1, 2013.
Benge represented Tulsa's District 68 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1998-2010. He was Speaker of the House from February 2008 to November 2010. Leaving the chamber due to term limits, Benge became an advisor to Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett. Since August 2011 he has served as senior vice president of government affairs at the Tulsa Regional Chamber.
Fallin said of Benge, “My focus as governor has been to implement pro-growth, fiscally responsible and conservative policies to move this state forward. Chris Benge’s leadership and experience as a legislator and leader of the House will help us continue in those efforts. I’m delighted to have him serve as a member of my Cabinet."