Secretary of State Chris Benge
Chris Benge was appointed as Oklahoma’s 33rd Secretary of State by Governor Mary Fallin on
November 8, 2013. In addition to his duties as Secretary of State, Benge serves on the Governor’s
Secretary Benge was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1998 and left office in
November 2010 due to legislative term limits. He served six years in leadership positions,
including three years as Chairman of the Appropriations and Budget Committee, which was responsible
for negotiating and writing the state budget. He spent his last three years in office as Speaker of the
After his legislative service, Benge worked in Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s administration as the
Director of Intergovernmental and Enterprise Development. His focus was on public policy and special
project development, such as river development, transportation, infrastructure needs, and energy
leadership. He also concentrated on strengthening working partnerships between Tulsa County and the
surrounding communities in the region.
Most recently, Benge served as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs with the
Tulsa Regional Chamber, leading the organization’s advocacy efforts at the state and federal level
through the OneVoice process, as well as working with city and county officials on local policy issues.
Benge’s legislative service was highlighted by focusing on ways to encourage economic development
and job growth for the citizens of Oklahoma. He was committed to funding transportation infrastructure,
addressing physician training by stabilizing the OSU Medical Center, and promoting education initiatives.
He also focused on pension reform, government efficiency, and responsible use of excess oil and
gas tax collections.
Benge made significant contributions to The Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program and the Closing Fund,
which have brought numerous high caliber jobs to the state. He also pushed for incentives that
assisted local industry growth in aerospace and energy. He received recognition for his efforts to
help the state create a favorable business climate from the Oklahoma State Chamber with the
organization’s Defender of Free Enterprise Award for 2009.
Benge also brought particular attention to the use of domestic energy in the state by working to
establish a set of energy goals for Oklahoma that included increased use of natural gas for
transportation. These efforts led to his testifying before a Congressional Committee on the
benefits of using more natural gas for transportation purposes.
A lifetime Tulsa area resident, Benge and his wife, Allison, along with their two children reside
in the community of Berryhill. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from
Oklahoma State University.
Best of Tulsa Community College Distinguished Alumni inductee, 2005
Legislative Advocate of the Year, Oklahoma Economic Development Council, 2008
Defender of Free Enterprise, State Chamber of Commerce, 2008
Distinguished Service Award, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, 2009
Jim Close Humanitarian Award, Southwest Tulsa Chamber, 2010
Natural Gas Vehicles of America Legislator of the Year, 2010
OSU Tulsa Icon Award, 2013.