Oklahoma City - State Senator Bill Gustafson (R-El Reno) is announcing his decision not to seek a third term as State Senator for District 22. Gustafson, the current Minority Leader in the Legislature's upper chamber, will complete eight years of service at the end of this year.
"The greatest honor ever bestowed on me was when I was elected to serve the people of Senate District 22 eight years ago," said Senator Gustafson. "Four years ago the people honored me again by retaining me as their Senator without a campaign. But the greatest and dearest honor has been the wonderful, lasting friendships my wife Kay and I have been able to make over these years of service."
Senator Gustafson was elected in 1990. He has served with distinction as an outspoken supporter of business and economic development issues. A recipient of the "Purple Heart" for wounds received during the Korean War, he has also been an advocate for Oklahoma's veterans.
Some of Gustafson's other legislative accomplishments include, a law requiring state agencies to utilize the U.S. Postal Service bar codes and bulk mailing. The change saves the state an estimated $2 million a year. He authored a resolution to save the famed 45th Infrantry Brigade in the early 90s. Last year he authored Senate Bill 745 (the Maguire Bill), requiring a pre-sentence investigation to be conducted on all violent offenders convicted in Oklahoma.
"This measure was a critical piece of the criminal justice reform package passed last year," said Senator Gustafson. "This bill saves lives by ensuring that our judges have all the information available on a violent offenders criminal history. That translates into longer sentences for such offenders. It's the most important piece of legislation I have authored."
Gustafson was selected by his fellow Senate Republicans to serve as Minority Leader in 1996. Despite ideological differences with his Democratic colleagues, Senator Gustafson has built a reputation as a fair and hard-working negotiator among the entire Legislature.
"I will complete my term in office with the same vigor I have tried to exhibit during my time in the Senate," said Senator Gustafson. "I am committed to seeing that Frank Keating is elected to a second term, and that the Republican numbers in the Legislature grow dramatically this election year."
"I want to again thank all the wonderful supporters and constitutuents from all over Oklahoma who have entrusted me with this office," the Senator concluded. "It has truly been an honor to serve you."