Early Tuesday evening, Tulsa's Kevin Hern was brought to the House of Representatives to be sworn in to fill the vacancy left when former congressman Jim Bridenstine became NASA's administrator. He was introduced by Rep. Frank Lucas and joined two other newly elected congress members who also filled vacancies in east coast states.
Hern has already cast his first vote. the topic has to do with Gulf Coast federal properties and the transfer of management. The procedural votes approved senate amendments.
Hern also pledged his caucus support for Ohio Representative Jim Jordan to be the Republican leader in the House. Jordan had been a charter member of the House Freedom Caucus along with Bridenstine.
I talked with Hern on election night and he told me then that this day's plans were prepared for several weeks ago. Another plus for the citizens of Oklahoma's first district is the return of a viable District congressional staff. During much of this year, the staff was under the oversight of the nonpartisan clerk of the House. This meant that no political position or activities occurred and only constituent services were continued. As of today, Oklahoma's 1st district has active representation. That practical participation stopped well over a year ago when Trump officially nominated Bridenstine.
Other new members of the next congress will not be sworn in until January.