Governor Mary Fallin announced
Wednesday the former Oklahoma House Speaker Chris Benge will be appointed secretary of state. He will begin serving on Nov. 8.
Benge replaces Larry Parman, whom the governor has appointed to serve as the director of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and on her Cabinet as secretary of commerce. Parman will continue to serve as secretary of state through Nov. 7 and will start his new duties on Nov. 8.
As secretary of state, Benge will serve as a senior adviser to the governor on policy, economic and legislative issues. The appointment requires the confirmation of the Oklahoma Senate.
"I am extremely honored to accept Governor Fallin's invitation to fill the position of secretary of state,” Benge said. “I look forward to working with the governor and the Legislature to maintain a strong focus on promoting economic growth and opportunities for our citizens. As a lifelong Oklahoman, I am excited to be able to serve the state.”
After leaving the House, Benge served as an adviser to Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett on policy and was a liaison for other governmental entities. Since August 2011, Benge has been senior vice president of government affairs for the Tulsa Regional Chamber.
Benge has a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.
He and his wife, Allison, have two children.