- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A Republican House member from Oklahoma City says he’s withdrawing from the race to become the next speaker of the House.

Rep. Jason Nelson said Wednesday he is no longer in the running to replace T.W. Shannon as the next speaker. Shannon resigned from his position on Tuesday to focus his attention on his race for the U.S. Senate.

Nelson’s withdrawal leaves Republican Reps. Jeff Hickman of Dacoma and Mike Jackson of Enid in the race for one of the most powerful positions in state government.

The 72-member House Republican caucus is scheduled to meet on Monday for a closed-door meeting to elect the House’s next leader.

The speaker of the House appoints members and chairs of committees and negotiates with the governor and Senate on policy and budget.

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