Updated: Senate Democratic Leader Sean Burrage announced today that he has decided not to seek another term in the Oklahoma State Senate. Although the Claremore Democrat would not have been term limited until 2018, Burrage said it was time to refocus his attention on his family and his legal career.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve my friends and neighbors in Rogers and Mayes Counties and be their voice in the State Senate. Serving in the Senate has been both challenging and rewarding, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity given to me. But at this point in my life, I feel I need to turn my time and attention more fully to family and my law practice.”
Burrage has served in the State Senate since 2006 when he won the seat which had been held by term-limited Democrat Stratton Taylor. Burrage went unchallenged in his re-election bid for the seat in 2010. In November 2011, he was elected Democratic Leader after serving as Assistant Democratic Leader for the 52nd Oklahoma Legislature. Burrage continues to serve as Democratic Leader of the State Senate in the 54th Legislature.
The son of former United States District Judge Michael Burrage and Aletha Burrage, a former elementary school principal, Burrage has continually demonstrated his commitment to Oklahoma’s public school teachers and administrators and has fought for an independent judiciary which serves all Oklahomans.
“I’m very proud to have played a role in creating public policy aimed at improving the lives of all Oklahomans. I’m proud of my efforts to be an effective member of the minority party and to work with my colleagues across the aisle to do what is best for hard working Oklahomans. I have worked hard to represent my constituents well, shine light on important issues, ask the hard questions, and hold people accountable.”
Serving during some of Oklahoma’s most challenging economic times, Burrage worked to prioritize available resources to do the greatest good possible, with a focus on protecting our most at-risk citizens, including the seniors, veterans, children and small businesses in Rogers and Mayes Counties.
“I believe that the ultimate measure of a good public servant is how strongly they stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves and how tenaciously they protect the most vulnerable members of our communities. If that is the measuring stick of my work here in the State Senate, then I think I’ve been pretty successful.”
Burrage has a law practice in Claremore, where he makes his home with his wife Carole and their two sons, Truman, age 17 and Carter, age 9. He’s looking forward to attending more high school basketball games and fewer committee meetings.
Senate President Pro Tem Thanks Minority Leader for Service
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman released the following statement in response to Senate Minority Leader Sean Burrage announcing he will not be seeking re-election next year.
“I consider Sean not only a colleague but a personal friend and have enjoyed working with him in our leadership roles in the Senate in recent years. Sean is the utmost professional and has represented his district and his caucus with dignity and strength and will be missed in the Senate.
“Our Republican caucus has always worked well with the minority caucus to represent Oklahoma and our constituents, no matter their political affiliation, and we look forward to doing so with whomever the Democratic caucus elects as their next leader.”