Senator Harry Coates, R-Seminole, has announced plans to run for President Pro Tempore. Coates is the Senate principal author of landmark legislation including Oklahoma’s “Stand Your Ground” law and “Kelsey’s Law.” The lawmaker said his diverse professional background and legislative experience will help the Senate move Oklahoma forward.
The President Pro Tempore position will be vacated at the end of 2010 when Sen. Glenn Coffee terms out of office. Coates said his diverse background in business, agriculture, banking, construction and real estate, as well as his ability to build consensus place him in a unique position to lead the Senate.
“In these difficult times, it’s more important than ever that we have leaders who know how to deal with a wide range of issues—not just in terms of creating public policy, but also understanding how it impacts our friends and neighbors back home,” Coates said. “I’m not a career politician. I’m a businessman and father who believes in straight talk and honesty as well as openness and transparency in government.”
Coates was first elected to the Senate in 2002 to represent District 28, a predominantly Democrat area of the state. He was unopposed in his next bid to represent that district. In the Senate, he has worked to build consensus based on promoting common sense legislation that earned the support and respect of both Republicans and Democrats.
Coates was the Senate principal author of the “Stand Your Ground” law strengthening protections for Oklahomans who must use deadly force to protect their loved ones and property, as well as “Kelsey’s Law,” which created much-needed reform to better protect victims of child abuse. He currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Business and Labor.
“Our main goal in the next few years will be stabilizing our economy by creating a business-friendly environment and good jobs for our citizens,” Coates said. “These are issues I’ve dealt with my entire career. I’m excited about the opportunity to put those life skills to work in the Senate on a larger scale and really help move Oklahoma forward.”