Monday, July 22, 2019

And then there were two: rural Dem legislator won’t seek reelection

One of the last remaining rural Democratic state legislators is bowing out of the Legislature, announcing today that he will not seek reelection.

State Rep. David Perryman was the only rural Democrat west of I-35 (or US 69, for that matter) the only rural Democrat south of I-40, and one of just three Democrat legislators outside of the Tulsa/OKC metros or the city of Stillwater.

His official press release is below:

Perryman Announces He Won’t Seek Reelection

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma House Minority Floor Leader David Perryman (D-Chickasha) has announced that he does not plan to seek a fifth term as House District 56’s state representative.

Perryman was elected to the Oklahoma House in 2012 and has served as Minority Floor Leader since 2016. Prior to serving as the floor leader for the Democrats, Perryman served one term as secretary of the caucus and has served on a number of House committees, including Agriculture, Banking, Pensions, County and Municipal Government as well as Judiciary and a number of Appropriation and Budget subcommittees.

“After much consideration, I have decided not to seek reelection in 2020,” Perryman said. “I am so thankful for my wife, Jo, and my children who have supported me during my terms in the legislature and who have covered so many personal obligations that have allowed me to faithfully and diligently serve the people of District 56.”

Known for his grasp of parliamentary procedure, Perryman has been one of the most respected representatives in the Oklahoma House.

“David has been a great resource for not only our caucus but the entire body,” Minority Leader Emily Virgin (D-Norman) said. “He has dedicated himself to understanding how the House works so that he can best serve his constituents and the state of Oklahoma. By doing so, he has made himself an invaluable leader in our caucus.”

Perryman has used his time as floor leader to mentor caucus freshmen on the nuances of legislative procedure. In addition to day-to-day duties of a floor leader, Perryman’s caucus presentations include in-depth analysis of legislative language and how to advance the purpose and message of the minority party and still comply with the House Rules that are imposed by the majority party.

“David’s service in the legislature has been a great inspiration to me,” said freshman legislator Rep. John Waldron (D-Tulsa). “He is a true son of Oklahoma.”

“David will leave a huge hole in the legislature,” said Rep. Trish Ranson (D-Stillwater). “He will be missed.”

“David is a gifted and very capable leader,” said Rep. Andy Fugate (D-Midwest City). I am glad that I was able to serve a term with him and have him ‘teach me the ropes’.”

“Leader Perryman is a tireless worker who will be impossible to replace,” said Rep. Shane Stone (D-OKC). “He is to be thanked for all that he has done for our caucus. I was already going to miss him, but now I know the rest of the caucus will too.”

Perryman’s service has focused on public education, rural economic development, rural infrastructure and the quality of life in rural Oklahoma. He has tirelessly devoted his service to the youth of the district in an attempt to give students the same opportunities that were available to him growing up.

“Sometimes it is an elementary teacher or a principal or an agriculture instructor that help open doors to leadership opportunities for young Oklahomans,” Perryman said. I see that as a part of my role as a State Legislator and believe that I have been successful in assisting to prepare tomorrow’s leaders today.

“I am very appreciative of both former Minority Leader Scott Inman and current Minority Leader Emily Virgin for allowing me to serve as their Floor Leader through both the 56th and 57th Oklahoma Legislatures. There have been wins and losses and I believe that many of our accomplishments, including restoring revenue for increased funding for education, will reverberate for years to come.

“Politics is all about timing,” Perryman said. “I see more youth and vigor and ability in our caucus than I have in a long time, and because of that optimism, I feel like it is time for me to move over and find a different way to apply myself. I look forward to continuing to mentor for the rest of my current term and am anxious to see how members of our caucus can effect positive change over the coming years and I plan to help them do so anyway that I can.”

Although Perryman is leaving the caucus early, he still plans to be involved in his community, resume his full-time law practice in Chickasha and to continue to advocate for Oklahoma families across our state.

“It has been a true honor to serve the people of District 56 for the past seven years, particularly since the district is where my great grandparents settled in 1902 and has been home to six generations of my family,” Perryman said.


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