Press Release

October 12, 2020

GOVERNOR STITT NAMES BRIAN BINGMAN AS NEW SECRETARY OF STATE AND NATIVE AMERICAN AFFAIRS

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Secretary of Budget Mike Mazzei announces resignation to return to private sector

OKLAHOMA CITY (October 12, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt announced today he has named Chief Policy Advisor Brian Bingman as Secretary of State and Native American Affairs. 

Bingman, former President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate, joined the Stitt Administration in August as the governor’s lead negotiator on legislative policy and will continue those duties as Secretary of State. 

“Senator Bingman is a natural choice to be our next Secretary of State,” said Gov. Stitt. “It has been clear since he joined our team that he is respected by our colleagues in the Legislature and Oklahomans across the state. His wisdom, calm demeanor and understanding of the legislative process will continue to benefit our state in his new role.”

Bingman represented House District 30 from 2004 to 2006 before representing Senate District 12 from 2006 to 2016. He also served as President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate from 2011 to 2016 and Mayor of Sapulpa from 1992 to 2004. 

He was the first Republican in state history to serve three terms as Pro Tempore of the Senate. Under his leadership, landmark workers’ compensation and lawsuit reform became law, and he authored and pushed for a reduction in Oklahoma’s income tax rate.

“I am honored to be named as Secretary of State and Native American Affairs,” said Bingman. “I have had great conversations building relationships with our colleagues in the Legislature and look forward to continuing to partner with them to accomplish our shared desire of making Oklahoma a Top Ten state.”

Gov. Stitt also announced he has accepted the resignation of Secretary of Budget Mike Mazzei, effective October 23. 

As Secretary of Budget, Mazzei’s primary responsibilities included coordinating the Governor’s Executive Budget Book, improving the state’s financial operations and negotiating the state budget with the Oklahoma Legislature. This spring, Mazzei added a role as one of the leaders of the CARES FORWARD team, ensuring efficient and effective distribution of the $1.26 billion in COVID-19 federal relief dollars to cities, counties, state agencies and economic relief grant recipients across Oklahoma. 

“I have enjoyed serving in Governor Stitt’s administration to help make Oklahoma a Top Ten state,” said Mazzei. “I’m incredibly grateful for all the hard work and collaboration with the team of highly talented cabinet secretaries, budget staff, and agency financial officers to transform the financial operations of the state and provide more accountability and transparency. After an extraordinary season of time-consuming work, this is the right moment for me to step back and return to my financial planning company.”

Mazzei has spent a total of 14 years in state government. He was elected to represent Senate District 25 in 2004 and served the maximum of 12 years before reaching his term limit in 2016. During his time in the Senate, Mazzei served in leadership roles as Senate Finance Committee Chairman and Assistant Majority Floor Leader.

“The State of Oklahoma is a better place because of Secretary Mazzei’s service,” said Gov. Stitt. “Through 12 years in the Senate and two years as a cabinet secretary, he has fought for fiscal responsibility and prudent use of taxpayer dollars.”

John Budd, Oklahoma’s chief operating officer and Secretary of Agency Accountability echoed the governor’s sentiments. 

“I have worked side-by-side with Mike Mazzei for the last two years,” said Budd. “His commitment to service to Oklahoma is unsurpassed. I am grateful for his thought partnership and I am comforted to know that I can call on him for help any time I need it.”

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