History in the Making

By State Rep. Mike Sanders

On Jan. 5, 1925, my wife Nellie’s great-grandmother and namesake was sworn in as the first female governor in the United States. Wyoming Governor William Bradford Ross had passed away while in office just a few months earlier. A mourning widow, his wife Nellie Tayloe Ross refused to campaign for office, but won handedly. As governor, she continued her late husband’s policies of tax cuts, banking reform, protecting children, and strengthening prohibition laws. To this day, Nellie Tayloe Ross is the only woman to have served as Governor of Wyoming.

Watching as Governor Mary Fallin was sworn in as Oklahoma’s first female governor, I could see the pride my wife Nellie has in our great state and the history we have made with our new governor. I could not be more proud to serve alongside Governor Fallin. At a time when the state is facing some of its toughest challenges, it eases the burden of the Legislature in addressing the looming budget hole to have a governor who is on the same page. I was especially honored to have many constituents in attendance at the swearing in ceremony. Girl Scout Troop 500 from Kingfisher helped pass out programs. High school students from Lomega High School and a number of folks from Okeene, Watonga, Okarche, Hennessey and Kingfisher were all in attendance. Thank you to all who attended and were a part of history.

However, in this time of celebration, it is also appropriate to comment on the tragedy that took place in Arizona this past weekend. We cannot truly comprehend the full extent of the tragic losses of the loved ones who were killed on that day. While the blame game begins to play out in the media, we need to remember that it is a single, clearly deranged individual who was responsible for this heinous crime. Sadly, some of the media and a handful of politicians have already begun an attempt to silence our right to free speech. As individuals, we’re responsible for our own actions and shouldn’t have our rights as American's stripped because of individuals who choose to barbarically act out in society.

On an exciting note, I would like to congratulate the many basketball team victories we had in the district. Both the Seiling boys and girls won the Cherokee Invitational championship. The Watonga boys were the champions of the Three Rivers Conference in Hennessey and the Kingfisher boys were runners up in the Wheat Capital Tournament. A number of other district teams came in just shy of the championships, in which they took part. I would like to congratulate all of these athletes on their success.

As always, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at the Capitol at (405) 557-7407.

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