Politicians focused on new house speaker

Tuesday, January 29th 2008, 6:11 pm
By: News 9

By Stacey Cameron, NEWS 9

When the Speaker of the House, Lance Cargill, resigned, talk was heavy about finding his replacement.

At the age of 36, Cargill was the nation's youngest state speaker of the house and one of the most powerful political figures in Oklahoma, but he left following a series of embarrassing allegations.

As the focus turns from Cargill to his replacement, three names are emerging as early front runners. They are Gus Blackwell, Greg Piatt and Chris Benge.

The Republican majority in the house is narrow. Democrats hold 44 seats and Republicans 51. That means if seven Republicans step away from the GOP and back a candidate favorable to house democrats, a dark horse speaker could be elected.

This is a possibility because the entire House votes for Speaker. That's why the GOP has to choose the right candidate.

If disgruntled Republicans don't like the choice, Democrats could pick them off and elect someone entirely different.