Emily Virgin

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Emily Virgin
Minority Leader of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
Assumed office
February 4, 2019
Preceded bySteve Kouplen
Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
from the 44th district
Assumed office
November 17, 2010
Preceded byBill Nations
Personal details
Born (1986-10-01) October 1, 1986 (age 32)
Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of Oklahoma (BA, JD)

Emily Virgin (born October 1, 1986) is an American politician who is the Minority Leader of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, She previously served as House Democratic Caucus Chair. She was first elected in 2011 at the age of 25, and represents the 44th district, which includes Norman, Oklahoma.


Virgin completed an undergraduate degree in criminology and political science at the University of Oklahoma in 2009. Virgin was elected to the House while attending law school at the University of Oklahoma, from which she earned her J.D. in 2013.[1]

Political career[edit]

In 2011, she won election to the House[2] against Kent Hunt, a self-employed lawn care professional.[3] At the time she was the youngest representative in the Democratic caucus, at 25 years old,[2] although two younger Republicans were elected that same year.[4] She campaigned on improving education in Oklahoma and fighting education cuts.[2][3] She has stated that she had been interested in public service from a young age. She did not expect to start a political career so early, but she decided to run when her home seat became open due to term limits on the incumbent.[5]

In 2015, the Oklahoma Legislature considered a religious freedom bill that would allow businesses to refuse services to individuals based on the business owner's religious beliefs, mainly in reference to bakers and photographers opposed to same-sex marriage. Virgin gained notice for proposing an amendment that would require the businesses to publicly post a notice specifying what classes of patrons they would refuse services to, in an attempt to derail the bill.[6][7][8] The bill stalled the following week.[9]

In May 2017, Virgin was elected House Democratic Caucus Chair; her term was to start the following year.[10] As of 2017, Virgin is on the Appropriations and Budget Committee, Higher Education and Career Tech Committee, Judiciary – Civil and Environmental Committee, and Public Safety Committee.[11]

On November 15th, 2018, Virgin was named the Minority Leader for the Oklahoma House of Representatives.


  1. ^ "Emily Virgin's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  2. ^ a b c Ellisor, Laney (2011-01-31). "Education tops list for Rep. Emily Virgin". The Oklahoma Daily. Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  3. ^ a b Manwarren, LeighAnne (2010-10-28). "Emily Virgin and Kent Hunt face off for a chance to represent Norman in the state House". Oklahoma Gazette. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  4. ^ Surette, Rusty (2010-11-03). "Oklahomans Elect 3 Lawmakers Under 25-Years-Old". KWTV. Retrieved 2017-06-04.
  5. ^ Gibson, Sophia (2014-03-20). "A Chat With Okla. Rep. Emily Virgin". Odyssey. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  6. ^ Wong, Curtis M. (2015-03-12). "Oklahoma Rep. Emily Virgin Suggests Businesses Post Notice Before Discriminating Against Patrons". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  7. ^ Bufkin, Sarah (2015-03-18). "Oklahoma Rep. Emily Virgin's Amendment To Anti-Gay Bill Is A Clever Way To Stop The Legislation From Passing". Bustle. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  8. ^ Edwards, David (2015-03-12). "Oklahoma Dem amendment: Christian businesses must post notice of anti-gay discrimination". Raw Story. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  9. ^ Hudson, David (2015-03-13). "'Religious freedom' bill ditched after amendment is added to prevent gay couples being humiliated". Gay Star News. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  10. ^ "Rep. Emily Virgin named Caucus Chair-Elect". Norman Transcript. 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  11. ^ "Representative Emily Virgin, District 44". Oklahoma State Legislature. Archived from the original on 2017-04-28. Retrieved 2017-06-03.

External links[edit]

Oklahoma House of Representatives
Preceded by
Steve Kouplen
Minority Leader of the Oklahoma House of Representatives