Representative Mark Lepak today announced his re-election bid for the Oklahoma State House of Representatives in District 9, which encompasses Claremore, and parts of central Rogers County. Lepak, a Republican, is completing his third term in office.
“It has been an honor to represent each of you at the Capitol,” Lepak told his constituents. “I take seriously my commitment to represent each one of you, and believe I have kept that commitment by staying connected with the district, which has given me a better understanding of the needs facing our community and our state. I look forward to the future and welcome the opportunity to continue bringing my strengths to this job—making thoughtful and informed decisions on your behalf.”
Lepak carries a lifetime of varied work experiences to the capitol, including cattle and crops on the family farm, electrical work at a potash mine, and work as both a roustabout and a roughneck for offshore drilling operations in the Gulf. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a BS in Engineering Physics, he joined Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. and saw the company make history through the Bell System divestiture, the creation of SBC, and the eventual acquisition of AT&T, all while simultaneously transforming itself from telephone monopoly into a competitive, wireless- and data-centric business.
His career was spent in a constantly changing, complex environment where he performed long range planning economic studies, designed data circuits, did national forum work and analysis related to the FCCs open network architecture docket, served as chief of staff for the president of network services, and led teams of operations and project personnel maintaining, improving, and expanding the very infrastructure of the company’s network. At the time of his retirement, he led approximately 800 employees caring for equipment locations in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, as well as the emergency power operation for those states and Texas. Tornados, ice storms, floods, hurricanes, and wild fires “ all presented challenges which required planning, preparation and execution, but also adaptation to rapidly changing circumstances. Today, those qualities are needed at the capitol more than ever.”
Lepak believes his business, civic, and life experience make him uniquely qualified to serve a fourth term. “My local government experience on the Claremore City Council and the Moore School Board, coupled with my 37 years in the telecommunications industry, gives me a balanced perspective on how legislation and regulation impact our jobs, our communities, and our schools.”
Lepak says his most significant legislative initiatives include reforms to budget and agency oversight and accountability, executive branch reforms regarding agency leadership, post incarceration employment, expanding the teacher pipeline, pro-life legislation, free speech protections on college campuses, and support services for the blind and deaf. “I’m very proud that the solutions I have been proposing for years have found a friend in our new Governor. He does things differently, and that has been a breath of fresh air in Oklahoma City,” Lepak said.
Lepak insists that House committees should take a more active oversight role in agency activities. “Agency leadership reforms, where the legislature has a point of more focused accountability, will be most effective when our committees utilize their authority”.
Lepak serves as Chairman of the Banking, Financial Services, and Pensions Committee, and is one of the House’s Presiding Officers. He also serves on several other committees: Appropriations and Budget, A&B Sub-Committee on Finance, and Business & Commerce.