District 37 State Senator Dan Newberry, who represents Sand Springs, parts of South and West Tulsa, and Jenks, has resigned his seat effective January 31, 2018 to pursue a promotion in his professional field. The three-term Republican was previously the Vice President of Real-Estate Operations at TTCU: The Credit Union. The governor will set a special election date to fill his seat.
He and his wife, Laura, have four children: Claire, Paige, Eva and Alex.
“This wasn’t an easy decision to make—however, Laura and I have made the difficult but necessary decision to focus on the needs of our family. While we are optimistic about this new chapter in our lives, we are equally excited for the State of Oklahoma,” Newberry said. “I am certain the people of District 37 will choose a wise leader to help steward this great state to a prosperous future. I will miss serving in the senate, but will work with my successor to ensure a smooth transition and uninterrupted representation for the district.”
“It has been a true honor to serve as the senator from District 37. I want to thank my wife, my children, family and friends for their unwavering support during my service in the Senate,” Newberry said. “Just as importantly, I want to thank the citizens of District 37 for placing your trust in me to represent you at the Capitol for nearly 10 years."
Newberry was first elected in 2008, overwhelmingly unseating incumbent Democrat Nancy Riley, who switched parties mid-term, with 63% of the vote. He won the Republican nomination again in 2012 with 67% of the vote and retained his seat without a general-election challenger. He mostly recently won a crowded reelection in 2016. He defeated a pair of challengers in the primaries, then won a three-way general election with 56% of the vote.
Newberry maintained popularity among conservative ranks throughout his political career with endorsements from high-profile Christian community leaders as well as small business owners and City Councilors in Jenks and Sand Springs.
During the most recent legislative session he served on the Appropriations Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance, the Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government, the Retirement and Insurance Committee, and he was Chairman of the Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee.
“I can say without any hesitation that the men and women serving in the Oklahoma Senate – regardless of their party affiliation – are some of the most honorable and dedicated public servants who work each day to make Oklahoma an even better place. I will miss my Senate family, but will be praying and cheering them on as they continue to make Oklahoma the best place to work, live, and play.”
In 2015 he authored Senate Bill 788, also known as the Religious Leaders' Bill of Rights, which passed both houses and was signed into law. The bill asserts the right of clergy members to refuse to solemnize a marriage in violation of their religious beliefs or conscience.
In 2014 Newberry sponsored House Bill 2505 which seeks to reduce waste in Oklahoma's unemployment system. He authored Senate Bills 1433 and 1431 to combat human trafficking. All three measures were signed into law.
In 2013 he authored an expansion to the Quality Events Incentive Act, a bill funding various anti-child abuse agencies, and a bill barring the use of foreign law in Oklahoma courts.
In 2012 Newberry authored SB 1814, creating the Oklahoma Gold Star Medal of Honor, which honors military members born in Oklahoma who have lost their lives in the line of duty since September 11, 2001.
Newberry has received multiple awards from Americans United for Life and Oklahomans United for Life for authoring anti-abortion legislation. The Oklahoma Farm Bureau named him a member of the “100 Percent Club,” and the Oklahoma State Chamber honored him with the Guardian of Free Enterprise award for his work on economic development and growth of business in Oklahoma.
Former Democratic candidate Lloyd Snow, who received 40% of the vote in November, released a statement that he "will prayerfully consider" running again, but for now is enjoying his retirement.