, Muskogee, OK

April 9, 2014

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Rep. Hulbert will be missed

— It was with sadness that I received state Rep. Arthur Hulbert’s news that he was not seeking re-election to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. I respect his decision not to run due to family matters, but he will certainly be missed.

Rep. Hulbert is well respected at the Legislature, not only for his character, but also because he is a hard worker who studies the issues and votes his conscience. Rep. Hulbert reads the bills and is always well prepared to debate and vote on proposed legislation.

As chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Health, Rep. Hulbert was assigned to serve not only as a committee member but as my vice chairman. “Who is this young whippersnapper of a freshman, and what qualifies him to be a vice chairman over those with longer tenure?” I thought. I soon learned that Rep. Hulbert was extremely knowledgeable not only in health care issues, but also in the very complicated world of health care finances, which involves a mixture of state, private and federal funding. Soon, I felt perfectly comfortable turning the committee chores and chair duty over to Vice Chair Hulbert.

The citizens of Rep. Hulbert’s district have been well represented by him, and our entire state is lucky to have had him serve, if only for a single term. He is a strong voice for not only the most robust and strongest of citizens and businesses among us, but also for the weakest and most downtrodden who cannot represent themselves and rely on him to do so.

A great citizen with strong Oklahoma values, we certainly cannot fault his decision to spend more time with a family who needs him. However, as I said earlier, we will certainly miss him in the halls of the Capitol. Who knows what the future holds for Rep. Hulbert? We can only hope that it involves a return to public service at some time in all of our futures.