During a House committee meeting this morning, Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore) stated that Rep. Mike Reynolds (R-Oklahoma City) would not be there to present a bill because he was “discussing a possible assault on the House Floor.” Oklahoma Watchdog asked Terrill for more information and was told that during the session, Rep. Harold Wright (R-Weatherford) presented a concurrent resolution honoring February as Music Therapy Month in the state. Southwestern State University has the only Music Therapy program in the state and one of the professors was speaking when Rep. Reynolds tried to object. It is against House policy for guests to lobby for or against a bill, and suspicion is that Rep. Reynolds thought the comments crossed that line. His objection was not dealt with at the time.
According to Terrill, after the presentation, Wright and Reynolds got into a heated discussion. Terrill says he didn’t see anything, but heard that Wright may have contacted Reynolds somehow during the exchange which prompted Reynolds’ action.
Oklahoma Watchdog will have more as the story develops.
UPDATE: Rep. Reynolds talked with reporters in his office this morning, explaining what happened. He first stated he has no intention of filing assault charges or calling for a reprimand of Rep. Wright. He says Wright came over to apologize that his guests lobbied for the resolution currently before the body. Reynolds asked Wright if he asked his guests to stop and Wright stated he was trying to do the Christian thing and apologize. Reynolds says he told Wright he apologized to the pastor he interrupted last year, yet still got reprimanded for it – a reprimand Wright voted for – and Wright countered that he didn’t want to talk about last year. Reynolds says that’s when Wright got so close during the discussion that their faces were touching to the point where Reynolds’ nose was flattened. Other members then separated the two and nothing else was said. Reynolds says it was simply a display of a bad temper by Rep. Wright and nothing else. A video of the interview with Reynolds will be posted later today.
UPDATE #2: I talked with Rep Wright this afternoon after covering some committee meetings. He confirms that there was a verbal confrontation and that he is sorry for his actions. He said he has not talked with Rep. Reynolds since the incident. It appears that the answer to the question in the title of this story – prompted by the Terrill comment in a committee meeting – is “No. Not really.”
Here’s the video with Rep. Reynolds where he downplays the incident.