|Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives|
from the 80th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2009
|Born||October 16, 1948|
|Spouse(s)||Connie Ritze, RN|
|Residence||Broken Arrow, Oklahoma|
|Alma mater||Northeast Missouri State University (B.S.)|
Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)
|Service/branch||United States Army|
James Michael Ritze (born October 16, 1948) is an American politician from the state of Oklahoma. A Republican, Ritze serves as a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, representing the 80th district, which includes parts of Tulsa and Wagoner counties.
Ritze was first elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2008. He sponsored a bill in 2009 to have a monument to the Ten Commandments installed at the Oklahoma State Capitol. His family supplied $10,000 to fund the monument, which was installed in 2012.
On the night of Thursday, October 23, 2014, someone drove a vehicle across the Oklahoma State Capitol lawn and into the monument, shattering it. Police impounded the vehicle and started an investigation. A second copy of the monument has been made and erected to replace it.
Ritze has a hardline stance on immigration. In an interview with a local news reporter on May 10, 2017, Ritze (referring to 82,000 non-English speaking students in Oklahoma) suggested that the state "identify them and then turn them over to ICE to see if they truly are citizens" and then asked, "and do we really have to educate non-citizens?" In answer to that question, The Washington Post pointed out that the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision Plyler v. Doe prohibits states from denying education based on immigration status.
In May 2018, Ritze was accused of embellishing his military record by claiming to have been injured in the line of duty.
- "Representative Mike Ritze". Oklahoma Legislature. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- McNutt, Michael (November 15, 2012). "Ten Commandments monument is installed at Oklahoma state Capitol". The Oklahoman. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- Murphy, Sean (October 24, 2014). "Someone Smashed The Disputed Oklahoma Ten Commandments Monument To Pieces". HuffPost. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- "Prescott v. Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission". The Oklahoma State Courts Network. July 27, 2015. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- Brilbeck, Aaron (May 10, 2017). "Republican Group Announces Plan To Fill State Budget Hole". KWTV-DT. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- Holley, Peter (May 12, 2017). "One Republican's 'shameful' plan to save money: Turn 82,000 non-English-speaking kids over to ICE". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- Hoberock, Barbara (May 10, 2018). "Broken Arrow Rep. Mike Ritze accused of embellishing military record; DAV removes him from its rolls". Tulsa World. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- "Michael Ritze for State Representative, District 80". mikeritze.com. Retrieved May 13, 2017.