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Capital City: Trump's approval slips in Oklahoma

Gusty wind did not prevent continued renovation work Thursday, Jan. 25, on the Oklahoma Capitol's south side. [Photos by Thomas Maupin, For The Oklahoman]
Gusty wind did not prevent continued renovation work Thursday, Jan. 25, on the Oklahoma Capitol's south side. [Photos by Thomas Maupin, For The Oklahoman]

Good Friday morning. 

President Donald Trump remains a popular president in Oklahoma. But not as popular as he once was. 

In his first month in office, Trump enjoyed a 61 percent approval rating among Oklahomans, with 27 percent disapproval, according to polling firm Morning Consult. Today, his approval rating is at 53 percent with 43 percent disapproval of Trump's job performance.

The change represents a 59 percent increase in Oklahomans who disapprove of how the president is doing his job, reports the Tulsa World

NEW episode of Political State is now up .... OKC Councilman Ed Shadid discusses his eight years on the council as he prepares to leave office. You can watch here or listen in your favorite podcasting app. 

Permitless carry bill advances ... A bill vetoed last year by then-Gov. Mary Fallin that would allow Oklahoma residents to carry a gun without any training or a background check appears to be sailing toward the new Republican governor, who has said he'll sign it.

Dubbed "constitutional carry" by its supporters, the measure easily cleared its first legislative hurdle Thursday when a House committee approved it on a 9-2 vote. The measure now advances to the full House. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate.

Governor tour ... On Thursday, Gov. Kevin Stitt toured the Department of Public Safety and the Highway Patrol academy. He met employees and took over the controls of the Oklahoma City dispatch for a moment. You can watch that here

Stitt also made his first visit to the Highway Patrol wall of honor, which includes the photo of every trooper who died in the line of duty.

“It really brings it home when you see people who have given their lives for the safety of Oklahoma. It was really a moving tribute here,” Stitt said.

Also on Thursday, Stitt said he wants to add diversity to the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, the governor-appointed body that currently has one vacancy. 

“There is not an African American at this time on that board and that would be something I would certainly look for,” Stitt said Thursday at the state Capitol. 

The Black Chronicle Newspaper is reporting that Attorney Don Smitherman of Oklahoma City is being considered for the open Board of Regents seat.

Norman mayoral election nears ... Norman voters will cast ballots Tuesday to decide which of three candidates will become the next mayor of Norman. With Mayor Lynne Miller not seeking re-election, two city council members and a community activist seek to fill her spot, reports NonDoc

Female role models ... The website PeopleMaven asked Rep. Kendra Horn who her female role models were. Horn's answer was Kate Barnard, the first woman elected to statewide office in Oklahoma. 

Horn said: “Kate Barnard is someone I've always appreciated and I enjoy sharing her story. She was the first woman elected in Oklahoma, and the second woman in the nation to be elected statewide. And she held office before women could even vote! She was a champion for young people, women, Native Americans, working families and fought for ethical and humane prison reform when those groups didn't really have another voice."

Wyrick nomination heads to Senate floor ... The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Thursday to advance the nomination of Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Patrick Wyrick to be a federal judge.

Wyrick’s nomination was moved to the full Senate by a vote of 12-10, with Republicans supporting the nomination.

Some Democrats charged that Wyrick had undermined environmental regulations and tribal sovereignty while working for Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general who later served as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

USS Tulsa to be commissioned ... The future USS Tulsa, the Navy’s newest independence variant littoral combat ship (LCS 16), will be commissioned at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (noon Central) on Saturday, Feb. 16, in San Francisco, reports the Tulsa World.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., will deliver the commissioning ceremony’s principal address. Former Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor will serve as the ship’s sponsor.

Capitol renovations ... The state Capitol is undergoing renovations and News9 took a closer look at the building that has been at the center of state politics more more than 100 years. Most know the Capitol was originally built without the iconic dome. 

“The dome at that time would of cost about $250,000, which was a pretty hefty sum in 1917,” said Trait Thompson, State Capitol Project Manager with Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES). “So, they said were going to let the dome go and come back a few years later and put it on.”

That does it for this week's Capital City newsletter. Look for more political coverage this weekend in The Oklahoman. 

Thanks for reading. Got questions, suggestions or complaints? Email me at 

Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›