OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Secretary of State Glenn Coffee has announced that he will be stepping down to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Coffee has held his current cabinet level position in Gov. Mary Fallin’s administration since January 2011. Prior to serving as secretary of state, Coffee was the president pro tempore of the Oklahoma State Senate. Coffee will step down no later than Jan. 31, 2013.
“Serving the state of Oklahoma has been my dream since I was a small boy,” Coffee said. “Being able to serve on such a high level, first as senate president pro tem and then as secretary of state, is truly a dream come true.
“While I am sad to leave my post in the Fallin administration, I could not be happier with the course that Gov. Fallin has charted for the state of Oklahoma. For the last two years I have had the great privilege of helping the governor craft policies that will continue Oklahoma’s forward momentum and help to spur job creation for decades to come. My thanks go out to Gov. Fallin for giving me the opportunity to serve as secretary of state, and to all of the great men and women who worked with me during my years in public office.”
Fallin said Coffee brought a wealth of experience to the state Capitol.
“Glenn Coffee has been a fixture in Oklahoma politics for over a decade,” Fallin said. “As Senate pro tem, he helped to deliver the first ever Republican majority in the state Senate, setting the stage for unified conservative government. As secretary of state, Glenn continued his good work by helping to craft fiscally conservative budgets, landmark lawsuit reform and workers compensation legislation. His experience and wealth of knowledge will be sorely missed. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
The office of the secretary of state serves as a registry of Oklahoma’s official documents, filing and certifying executive orders, appointments and proclamations as well as publishing new statutes. In addition to his official duties as the head of that agency, Coffee also served as Fallin’s lead negotiator on budget issues and issues related to Oklahoma water rights.
Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger will assume Coffee’s responsibilities as Fallin’s lead budget negotiator. The Fallin administration plans to retain Coffee as an outside consultant on water issues, although details of that arrangement have not yet been finalized.
Coffee is a businessman, attorney and family man who was the first Republican in Oklahoma history to serve as President Pro Tempore, the top leadership position in the Oklahoma State Senate. Coffee was also the longest-serving Republican leader in the Senate.