Senator Andrew Rice, leader of Senate Democrats, said today he is resigning from the Senate as of January 15th.
"Today I submitted letters to the Secretary of the Senate, President Pro Tempore Bingman, and Governor Fallin informing them that I will resign my duties as State Senator effective Jan. 15th, 2012," Rice said.
“I am supporting my wife in her pursuit of a career opportunity outside of the state of Oklahoma. She has made immense sacrifices for me in her support of my political career and public service, and I am honored to be able to reciprocate that for her now. Therefore, I will be unable to serve the remainder of my term, which ends in November 2014. By law, Gov. Fallin will call a special election for Senate District 46 within 30 days of my effective date of resignation. The Senate Democratic Caucus will hold an internal election in the coming months to choose a new Senate Democratic Leader to succeed me when I leave the Senate.
“It has been an immense honor and privilege to serve the people of Senate District 46. I am grateful I have had the opportunity to be their voice at the State Capitol. I will miss the many friendships that I have formed with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the senate staff. I will also greatly miss the many relationships I have formed with the citizens of this great state. We are sad that this change will take us away from Oklahoma, but this is the best decision for our family at this time.
“Although I've run unsuccessfully for higher office, and have had a great deal of ambition politically, I have always approached my public service as a temporary and limited part of my career. I have been honored to fill that role for a short time, and I am confident that District 46 will be well served with the new ideas and passion that will come from electing a new Senator.
“I look forward to what lies ahead for me in my career now that I am leaving elected office. Whatever it may be, I will continue to pursue ways to try and improve the common good, and be a voice for the underdog."