Former Oklahoma Governors Gather For Panel, Surprised By Special Guest

Former Governors of Oklahoma met for a former Governor panel hosted by The Oklahoma Watch.

Thursday, October 26th 2023, 4:46 pm

Nearly 3 decades of state leadership met to reflect on their time in office and discuss how they would govern today.

Former governors David Walters, Frank Keating, Brad Henry, and Mary Fallin-Christensen gathered at St. Luke’s Methodist Church to answer questions on a panel hosted by The Oklahoma Watch on Thursday.

They spoke about what they viewed as their greatest accomplishments and their biggest regrets.

The questions also sought their opinion on two issues facing the state in the present.

The panel seemed to be in agreement when it came to the importance of strong tribal relations and increased rural healthcare. Each also seemed to believe their biggest accomplishment in office was building relationships across the aisle.

 “We could work together, Democrats and Republicans,” Governor Keating said, reflecting on the Democratic majority he faced in the legislature. “Working together. Something we don’t see much of,” said Henry – adding that he faced a Republican majority.

The speakers also welcomed a surprise guest: a governor who held the office not once but twice – Governor George Nigh.

 Nigh was followed into the room by the University of Central Oklahoma marching band playing “Oklahoma.”

The 96-year-old former governor directed the band using the very pen that signed a bill making the song the state song.

The bill was authored in 1953 by then-State Representative Nigh.


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