Oklahoma Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee announced that he has named Karl Ahlgren to the position of Assistant Secretary of the Senate. The appointment is part of the power-sharing agreement negotiated between Republicans and Democrats in the evenly divided State Senate.
A 23-year veteran of Oklahoma government and politics, Ahlgren will alternate duties with the Secretary of the Senate, Michael Clingman, who was elected by the Senate on January 2. Ahlgren will handle floor management, parliamentary and clerk duties in the Senate chamber.
Ahlgren formerly was a longtime congressional aide, having served as chief of staff to then-U.S. Congressman (now U.S. Senator) Tom Coburn between 1994 and 2000, and as field director to former U.S. Senator Don Nickles for ten years prior.
Coffee, who leads Republicans in the Senate, praised Ahlgren as a person of integrity, skill and stature.
“Karl Ahlgren has proven himself to be highly valuable to Oklahoma in government service. I am honored to have a person of his integrity and stature on board during this historic period in Oklahoma,” Coffee said.
In his congressional duties, Ahlgren was widely recognized for his ability to work with both parties to assist rural communities in north-and-southeastern Oklahoma.
From working to solve water and flood issues in northeastern Oklahoma to directing efforts to ship Oklahoma hay to drought-stricken farmers in 10 states, Coffee said Ahlgren has demonstrated a unique ability to serve the public. Ahlgren also has been instrumental in passing bipartisan initiatives in Tulsa,where he lives.
Ahlgren has served on several boards and is past president of the Tulsa Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and Jenks Community Education Council. He helped start a school in Russia for Down syndrome children and currently serves on the board of directors of Up with Down in Tulsa. He is an Eagle Scout and has been recognized for economic development efforts throughout eastern Oklahoma.