Kris Steele

Kris Steele (born July 11, 1973) is a United States politician from the U.S. state of Oklahoma who served as state representative. Steele served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives as the Speaker of the House, a position he took over after the 2010 elections. He presided over the 53rd Oklahoma Legislature.

Kris Steele
Kris Steele.jpg
Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
In office
2011–2013
Preceded byChris Benge
Succeeded byT.W. Shannon
Speaker pro tempore of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
In office
2009–2011
Preceded byGus Blackwell
Succeeded byJeff W. Hickman
Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
from the 26th district
In office
2001–2013
Preceded byBob Weaver
Succeeded byJustin Wood
Personal details
Born (1973-07-11) 11 July 1973 (age 47)
Ardmore, Oklahoma
NationalityAmerican
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Kellie Kursar
ResidenceShawnee, Oklahoma
Alma materOklahoma Baptist University
OccupationPolitician

Steele, served as Speaker Pro Tempore, under Chris Benge. He was chosen as Speaker-designate in 2009.[1] Elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives on November 7, 2000,[2] he was term-limited out of office in 2012.

Early life and careerEdit

Born in Ardmore, Oklahoma on July 11, 1973, Steele graduated from Broken Bow High School in 1992 and earned a B.A. in Religion from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1996. Since graduating from OBU, Steele has served as a Baptist minister and public school teacher.[3]

Political careerEdit

Steele was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives on November 7, 2000,[4] He filed five bills in the 2001 session; two became law.[5]

Steele became House Speaker Pro Tempore when Chris Benge took over as Speaker of the House following Lance Cargill's resignation in January 2008.[6][7]

The Shawnee lawmaker had several pieces of legislation signed into law from the 2009 session, including the "Health Care for Oklahomans Act" and "The Silver Alert Act".[8]

Steele introduced a 2012 proposal to reject a pay raise for statewide officials and judges.[9][10]

Steele presided over the 53rd Oklahoma Legislature and under his tenure oversaw the enactment of tort reform, the elimination of social promotion in public school after the third grade, the elimination of the ability of teachers to appeal termination to district courts as trial de novo, corrections reform that expanded the eligibility of low-risk, nonviolent inmates for community sentencing and electronic monitoring programs, pension reform, agency consolidation, the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, and open carry.[11]

Post-state House careerEdit

Steele is the Executive Director of The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM), a 501(c)(3) organization "dedicated to breaking cycles of incarceration and poverty through education, personal development and work readiness training".[12] He has criticised the Oklahoma penal system as being "awfully quick to look at incarceration as a solution. It tears families apart, it creates instability. It makes the situation much worse".[13]

Steele successfully campaigned for State Questions 780 (making low-level drug possession and property crimes misdemeanors) and 781 (creating a rehabilitation fund), which passed in 2016.[14] He has received the requisite signatures to put State Question 805, a constitutional amendment which would end sentence enhancements for non-violent crimes, on the ballot in November 2020.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

When Steele was six, he was shot point-blank with a pellet gun in the head. After being in a coma for ten days after the pellet passed through his brain, he recovered but he now swings his left leg forward from his hip when he walks; his left arm and hand, though usable, curl from his elbow and his fingers often ball into a fist.[13]

Steele is married to Kellie Kursar and lives in Shawnee, Oklahoma. They have two daughters.

DistrictEdit

House District 26 encompasses a small northern portion of Pottawatomie County that includes the city of Shawnee.[15]

Election historyEdit

November 7, 2006, Election results for Oklahoma State Representative for District 26
Candidates Party Votes %
Kris Steele Republican Party 5,315 63.47%
Joe Freeman Democratic Party 3,059 36.53%
Source:[16]
November 2, 2004, Election results for Oklahoma State Representative for District 26
Candidates Party Votes %
Kris Steele Republican Party 8,608 68.71%
Pat Bateman Democratic Party 3,920 31.29%
Source:[17]
November 7, 2000, Election results for Oklahoma State Representative for District 26
Candidates Party Votes %
Kris Steele Republican Party 6,162 54.60%
Terry LaValley Democratic Party 5,123 45.40%
Source:[18]

SourcesEdit

  1. ^ Harrison, Caitlin. "Representative appointed as new Oklahoma House Speaker," OU Daily, October 20, 2009 (accessed February 3, 2010).
  2. ^ 2000 Election Results Archived 2008-11-26 at the Wayback Machine, Oklahoma State Election Board (accessed February 3, 2010).
  3. ^ Kris Steele Complete Bio, Project Vote Smart (accessed February 3, 2010).
  4. ^ 2000 Election Results Archived 2008-11-26 at the Wayback Machine, Oklahoma State Election Board (accessed February 3, 2010).
  5. ^ Bill Tracking Archived 2005-11-11 at the Wayback Machine Oklahoma House of Representatives (accessed February 3, 2010)
  6. ^ Hinton, Mick. "House Republicans choose Benge to become speaker designate", Tulsa World, February 4, 2008.
  7. ^ Hinton, Mick "House Speaker Lance Cargill steps down after not paying taxes", Tulsa World, January 28, 2008.
  8. ^ Bill Tracking Archived 2005-11-11 at the Wayback Machine, Oklahoma House of Representatives (accessed February 3, 2010)
  9. ^ McNutt, Michael. Pay-raise rejection proposal gains approval from Oklahoma House, Tulsa World. Published February 16, 2012.
  10. ^ Associated Press. House panel OKs bill to quash Oklahoma pay hikes, Tulsa World. February 15, 2012.
  11. ^ House Journals Archived 2013-07-11 at the Wayback Machine, 2011 and 2012, Oklahoma House of Representatives Archived 2013-06-22 at the Wayback Machine (accessed June 13, 2013)
  12. ^ "Our Mission". The Education and Employment Ministry. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Schulte, Bret (April 23, 2020). "A Republican Crusader Takes on Oklahoma's Prison Machine". POLITICO. Oklahoma City. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  14. ^ "Oklahoma Election Results 2016". The New York Times. August 1, 2017. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  15. ^ House Districts, Congressional and Other Maps Archived 2009-05-07 at the Wayback Machine, Oklahoma House of Representatives Archived 2013-06-22 at the Wayback Machine. 10-14-09
  16. ^ 2006 Election Results, Oklahoma State Election Board. 10-14-09
  17. ^ 2004 Election Results Archived 2008-11-26 at the Wayback Machine, Oklahoma State Election Board. 10-14-09
  18. ^ 2000 Election Results Archived 2008-11-26 at the Wayback Machine, Oklahoma State Election Board. 10-14-09