Key players on the state’s political front spoke last week at Oklahoma Boys State on the campus of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M college for the 23rd year.

Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, state representative Rex Duncan and Marian Opala, associate justice for the Oklahoma Supreme Court, were among the lineup of Oklahoma politicians who addressed the estimated 650 students that attended Boys State.

NEO was the home to those high school students who attended Boys State.

Students from across Oklahoma traveled to the college to participate in the event Saturday May 23 through Saturday, May 30.

"Boys State is among the largest leadership organizations for high school youth in our state," said Dr. Jeffrey Hale, NEO president. "Its value of patriotism and high regard for our government makes Boys State a welcome addition to our campus each summer. The college is also proud to host individuals who are central to our state’s political leadership, including Lieutenant Governor Askins and Representative Duncan."

For one week, NEO became the state capital as Boys State participants ran a mock government. The high school seniors will run for and serve in elected offices, ranging from the mayor of a city to the state’s governor. The purpose of the program is to teach the principles of government, leadership and patriotism.

Those who attended Boys State were selected by either their local American Legion post or their high school. Many who completed Boys State in the past returned to provide guidance as counselors. Boys State participants will also have the opportunity to earn up to three hours of college credit from NEO.