(Oklahoma City) Governor-elect Brad Henry has tapped a diverse, bipartisan team of Oklahomans to help him assemble his new administration. The incoming state chief executive and his transition chairman, State Treasurer Robert Butkin, announced the transition team Friday, saying they are looking forward to working with members to construct a bipartisan administration that will serve the needs of all Oklahomans.
"Oklahoma is blessed to have so many talented people who are willing to devote their time to this important mission. We are reaching out to Oklahoma's best minds, people from all walks of life and all political affiliations, to help us build the best administration possible - one that will foster and promote a better Oklahoma that offers unlimited opportunities to its people. With the help of transition team members and a lot of hard work in the days to come, I have no doubt that we will be able to successfully address the many challenges that our state faces," said Gov.-elect Henry.
Gov.-elect Henry has identified approximately two dozen Oklahomans to serve on his transition team and may add more in the days to come. The members will act as an informal advisory panel, identifying people and resources that can assist the new administration. Treasurer Butkin said the team would be divided into several different study groups and assigned different tasks to complete. The transition panels will address a wide variety of issues, ranging from cabinet appointments to policy questions, and forward recommendations to Gov.-elect Henry.
"As transition chief, I look forward to working with team members to identify the pressing issues and the people best equipped to address them. This transition effort has already made considerable progress in the days since the election. With this new, bipartisan team in place, I anticipate that we will accelerate our work and finalize the framework of the Henry administration in a timely manner," said Treasurer Butkin.
The transition team members include:
As the transition process progresses, more members may be added.
"This is going to be a very deliberative, very intensive process that leaves no stone unturned. Obviously, we are facing a time crunch with the inauguration less than two months away, but with the talented people we have on board, I know that we can execute a thorough and orderly transition. It will take many late hours, but we will get the job done," said Gov.-elect Henry.
"Because of the budget challenges that are now confronting Oklahoma, we know there will be no shortage of problems to address in the days to come. I am counting on team members to help identify efficiencies in state government in an effort to offset some of the impact of declining revenues. It will not be an easy or pleasant task, but I want to assure Oklahomans that we will be doing everything humanly possible during this difficult time to protect Oklahoma's public schools, public health programs and other important services."
The new governor will be inaugurated on January 13th at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City.