Lawmaker Says Black Voters Angered by Langston Controversy

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OKLAHOMA CITY

A Black state lawmaker said recently that Black voters feel betrayed by Democratic leaders who agreed to a higher education bond plan that may threaten the future of the Black college in Tulsa.

Rep. Opio Toure, D-Oklahoma City, also says he plans to apply for the president's job at Langston and is considering running for statewide office as an independent when his term in the state House ends next year. Toure did not specify which statewide office he may seek.

Langston President Ernest Holloway, 73, is retiring after 25 years but will continue to serve until a new president is hired. Toure is serving his sixth two-year term in the House and cannot seek re-election due to term limits.

According to Toure, Langston supporters and other Blacks were angered by the passage of the $475 million higher education plan agreed to by Democratic Gov. Brad Henry, Republican House Speaker Todd Hiett and Senate President Pro Tem CaI Hobson, D-Lexington.

Among other things, the measure, which was sent to the Senate for action, asks state regents to examine expanding course offerings at colleges in the Tulsa area, which include branches of the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.

Toure said no one consulted with members of the legislative Black caucus before the provision was inserted in the bill and that additional courses could destroy Langston's Tulsa campus. …