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Biography Brad Henry

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Brad Henry Brad Henry
Brad Henry
Was the 26th Governor of the U.S. state of Oklahoma (2003 - 2011).


Brad Henry Biography

ENG:   Charles Bradford "Brad" Henry (born July 10, 1963) was the 26th Governor of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected governor in 2002. Henry faced Republican US Representative Ernest Istook for re-election on November 7, 2006, and won with 66% of the vote. Henry was the third governor and second Democrat in Oklahoma history to hold two consecutive terms, along with Democrat George Nigh and Republican Frank Keating. In 2010, Henry was ineligible to run for re-election as the Oklahoma constitution only allows two terms. His second term ended on January 10, 2011 as Oklahoma governors and other statewide elected officeholders are sworn-in on the second Monday every four years.


Early life and education

Henry was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, the son of Charles Henry, a prominent judge and former state representative. After graduating from Shawnee High School, Henry attended the University of Oklahoma as a President's Leadership Scholar and earned a bachelor's degree in economics in 1985. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. In 1988, he was awarded his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where he served as managing editor of the Law Review.

Henry practiced law in Shawnee, Oklahoma before running for the Oklahoma State Senate. He served as a state senator from 1992 until he became governor.


Governor of Oklahoma

Henry was officially sworn in as Oklahoma's 26th Governor on January 13, 2003, with the oath of office being administered by his cousin, federal appeals court judge Robert Harlan Henry. As Governor, he is a member of the National Governors Association, the Southern Governors' Association, and the Democratic Governors Association. He is the current president of the Council of State Governments.


Henry made national headlines by giving sanctuary from the redistricting warrant to Texas Democrats in that state's legislature by allowing them to travel across state lines into Oklahoma en masse to deny a quorum for voting on a redistricting plan. "Our position is that, without a warrant signed by a judge, we have no authority. Even under those circumstances, we are hesitant to get pulled into a Texas political battle. If we're going to do battle with Texas, we prefer that it be on the football field," Henry said through his spokesman.


As a tax-cutting governor, Henry has sought a centrist stance of moderation on most political hot button issues and seemingly has appeal across party lines. Henry is pro-choice and has vetoed legislation to mandate ultrasound viewings prior to abortion procedures. He has a mixed view of racial affirmative action, supporting it in college and graduate schools, but not in hiring for the bureaucracy. Henry supports expanding public healthcare and holding HMOs accountable for poor care; however, he also is in favor of upholding the death penalty and is against gun control. The governor supports tax cuts for the lower and middle classes and believes in keeping the income tax; he also supports using the "War on Drugs" strategy to combat methanphetamine use within his state.

On May 27, 2004, Governor Brad Henry issued Executive Order 04-21, which created the Governor's Ethnic American Advisory Council. The Ethnic American Advisory Council then published an English translation of the Qur'an embossed with the Oklahoma State seal which was then distributed to 149 Oklahoma state legislators. There were 35 lawmakers who declined to accept the copy of the Qur'an that they were offered. After refusing the copy of the Qur'an, Republican State Representative Rex Duncan wrote a letter to his colleagues explaining, "Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology." Further, Duncan said during a TV interview "I think it was inappropriate that they used a state centennial seal on a religious item."


In 2008, Henry vetoed an anti-abortion measure which required, among other things, women to get an ultrasound before having an abortion. The veto was overridden and was the first override in Oklahoma since 1994, when Gov. David Walters was in office.That law was struck down by a state district court, but passed again in April 2010, whereupon Henry again vetoed it.His veto was again overridden.


Despite Henry's popular approval record and avoidance of controversy, in 2010 Oklahoma voters approved an additional term limit, in addition to the prior existing term limit of 2 consecutive terms. Now, the Governor can only serve a total of 8 years. This effectively prohibits the 47-year-old Henry from making a comeback attempt at a later date.

(source: Oklahoma State Election Board)





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