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House GOP Caucus Meets to Pick New Speaker

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Oklahoma House/KWGS News
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The 72-member House Republican caucus is meeting behind closed doors to select the new Speaker of the House.

The House caucus meets at 10 a.m. Monday and will cast secret ballots to determine the winner.

Reps. Jeff Hickman of Fairview and Mike Jackson of Enid are vying for the post, which is one of the most powerful positions in state government. The speaker helps divvy up the state's $7 billion budget and helps shape the policy debate in the Legislature.

They are seeking to replace former Speaker T.W. Shannon, who announced last week he was stepping down to focus on his U.S. Senate race.

A third candidate, Rep. Jason Nelson of Oklahoma City, withdrew his name from consideration last week after acknowledging he didn't have enough votes.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.