Rep. Steve Kouplen is Minority Leader-Elect of 26-Member House Democratic Caucus; Rep. Emily Virgin is Caucus Chair-Elect

OKLAHOMA CITY (10 May 2017) – State Rep. Steve Kouplen is the Minority Leader-elect of the House Democratic Caucus.
The caucus elections were held Monday, 8 May 2017.

Kouplen, 66, is a Beggs rancher. He is serving his fifth consecutive two-year term in the state House of Representatives. He is a member of the House Committees on Agriculture and Rural Development, Rules, Energy and Natural Resources, and Appropriations and Budget.

Kouplen currently is the Democratic Caucus Chairman. He will formally assume the reins as the Minority Leader after Rep. Scott Inman, D-Del City, “terms out” of the Legislature in mid-November 2018. By that time Inman will have held the House Democratic Leader’s post for eight years, the longest tenure of any Democrat in state history.

“It is a great honor to have been chosen by my peers,” Kouplen said, “particularly since following Scott Inman will be an incredibly tough job. I look forward to utilizing the talents of our entire caucus during the 57th Legislature.”

For the past three sessions Kouplen has filed a “Death With Dignity Act” measure. This is from House Joint Resolution 1009, which he filed this year: “An adult who is capable, is a resident of Oklahoma, has been determined by the attending physician and consulting physician to be suffering from a terminal disease and who has voluntarily expressed his or her wish to die may make a written request for medication for the purpose of ending his or her life in a humane and dignified manner in accordance with the Oklahoma Death with Dignity Act.”

Other issues on which Kouplen has focused during his legislative career have included agriculture, the oil and gas industry, and education.

Also Monday, Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, was elected caucus chair to succeed Kouplen, and Rep. George E Young Sr., D-Oklahoma City, was re-elected caucus vice chairman.

The caucus elections are held a year in advance to give the incoming officers, particularly the minority leader, a year to get acclimated to the post.