Dan Newberry resigns

Oklahoma will hold yet another special election for a vacant legislative seat after Sen. Dan Newberry (R-Tulsa) announced his resignation today on social media.

Newberry’s campaign Facebook page posted the following announcement just after 2 p.m.

Oklahoma State Senator Dan Newberry announced today he will step aside from his Oklahoma Senate seat with District 37. Newberry has been proudly serving Oklahomans in the Senate since 2008.

“It has been a true honor to serve as the senator from District 37. I want to thank my wife, my children, family and friends for their unwavering support during my service in the Senate. Just as importantly, I want to thank the citizens of District 37 for placing your trust in me to represent you at the Capitol for nearly 10 years,” said Newberry.

Newberry will continue to be in senior management at TTCU The Credit Union and is publishing a book, “The Rich Young Ruler,” that will be available next month.

Newberry defeated Democrat Lloyd Snow and independent Shawn Ketcher in 2016 to win what would have been his final four-year term owing to Oklahoma’s 12-year term limitation. In the end, he served only one of those four years.

In a press release from Oklahoma State Senate staff, Newberry said his resignation will be effective Jan. 31, 2018, and that he will be pursuing a professional promotion with Tulsa Teachers’ Credit Union.

“This wasn’t an easy decision to make—however, Laura and I have made the difficult but necessary decision to focus on the needs of our family.  While we are optimistic about this new chapter in our lives, we are equally excited for the State of Oklahoma,” Newberry said.  “I am certain the people of District 37 will choose a wise leader to help steward this great state to a prosperous future.  I will miss serving in the senate, but will work with my successor to ensure a smooth transition and uninterrupted representation for the district.”

Newberry said he’d miss the many friends he made during his time in the upper chamber of the State Legislature.

“I can say without any hesitation that the men and women serving in the Oklahoma Senate – regardless of their party affiliation – are some of the most honorable and dedicated public servants who work each day to make Oklahoma an even better place. I will miss my Senate family, but will be praying and cheering them on as they continue to make Oklahoma the best place to work, live, and play.”

Newberry becomes the third Republican state senator to resign in 2017. Ralph Shortey resigned amid charges related to prostitution, and Kyle Loveless resigned amid investigation into campaign finance report irregularities.

In the Oklahoma House of Representatives, three members have resigned in 2017 (Dan Kirby, Tom Newell and Scott Martin) and one member died during the legislative session (David Brumbaugh).

Rep. Zack Taylor (R-Seminole) was elected during session and sworn in to replace Newell. Filing for the seats held by Loveless and Brumbaugh opened Monday, and campaigns in Tulsa and Oklahoma City are ongoing to replace Kirby and Shortey, respectively.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

(Update: This story was updated at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, to add additional details.)