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New year, new leadership, new (and old) issues

Chris Meyers

Legislators from across the state will be working with a new governor and lieutenant governor for the first time in eight years. We congratulate Gov. Kevin Stitt and Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell on their elections to the highest leadership positions in Oklahoma, and we look forward to working with them as they strive to make our state a better place to live, work and enjoy.

Just as Oklahoma’s 101 House of Representatives members and 48 State Senate members will be tasked with representing the interests of their local citizens, electric cooperative leaders from all parts of the state are looking forward to engaging in the political process to help bring an enhanced quality of life to their rural and suburban consumer-members. Issues such as electrical safety, avoiding wasteful duplication of grid infrastructure, improving rural access to broadband, and increasing utility and consumer access to technology and innovation will be at the forefront of topics electric co-op leaders will be discussing with local legislators over the course of this 57th Legislature.

With our state welcoming a new governor and lieutenant governor, all of us at the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives are excited to welcome Jim Reese, former Oklahoma secretary of agriculture, to our staff. Jim’s wealth of past legislative and state office leadership and experience will be a great asset to our team. Jim succeeds Kenny Sparks as our association’s director of government and regulatory affairs, a position Kenny held for more than 10 years before recently announcing his retirement. We want to thank Kenny for his dedication and service to Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives and know you’ll join us in welcoming Jim Reese to our leadership team.