By D.E. Smoot
Phoenix Staff Writer
District 13 Rep. Jerry McPeak was elected to serve as chairman of the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus during the 2013 legislative session, his second term holding the key leadership position.
Democratic Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, touted McPeak’s leadership skills and professional credentials in announcing the outcome of the election.
“Whether he’s in the front of the classroom or his fellow Democrats, Rep. McPeak brings outstanding leadership skills to our caucus,” Inman said in a media release. “In the agricultural and academic community and at the state Capitol alike, he is well-respected for his intelligence and wit.”
McPeak, a Democrat from Warner, will be responsible for running, maintaining, and setting the agenda for all caucus meetings during the legislative session. He said the experience gained from his prior service in the position will be beneficial during his second term.
“Experience is beneficial in any profession, probably more so here in the Capitol,” said McPeak of his second term as caucus chair. “I will continue to attempt to bridge the gap between my fellow representatives who are too extreme in any direction.”
McPeak said as caucus chairman, “it is extremely important to have a grasp of where my Democratic colleagues are coming from intellectually and emotionally.”
“We must maintain our energy and intensity while remaining well-grounded and using our common sense,” McPeak said. “My job is to channel that into productive and meaningful legislative action.”
McPeak, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, was elected to his first term in the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2004, when he beat the incumbent Republican, Stuart Ericson. He ran unopposed in 2006, 2010 and 2012. He drew a Republican opponent in 2008, but he beat Debbie Lienhart with more than 70 percent of the vote.
McPeak serves on the three House committees. Those include the House Committees for Transportation, Appropriations and Budget, and Energy and Aerospace.
Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or firstname.lastname@example.org.