Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and legislative leaders last week issued statements of congratulations to state Rep. T.W. Shannon of Lawton upon his election as House Speaker-designate.
The chief executive said, in a statement send to CapitolBeatOK, “Congratulations are in order for Representative T.W. Shannon on. … During his time in the Legislature, Speaker-designate Shannon has proven himself a capable leader dedicated to moving Oklahoma forward.
“I look forward to working with him on further conservative, pro-business reforms that will grow our economy, add more jobs and make Oklahoma an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, a Sapulpa Republican, contragulated Shannon as well, saying, “He is undoubtedly a gifted legislator, a dedicated public servant, and a man of proven integrity.
"Speaker-designate Shannon’s common sense and conservative values are the right fit for the state legislature. T.W. is also a trusted friend and respected leader; I know Oklahoma will benefit from his service in this new role."
Scott Inman of Del City, Democratic leader in the lower chamber, congratulated Shannon “on behalf of the House Democratic Caucus.”
Inman commented, “I look forward to working with him to find common-sense, middle-of-the-road solutions to Oklahoma’s problems. Together, we must reject overtly partisan agendas, stand up to the fringe elements of the political process and, in a bipartisan manner, focus on ensuring Oklahoma’s economy remains strong and attracts new jobs, improving public education and protecting our most vulnerable citizens.”
In a press release sending word of Shannon’s victory to journalists around the Sooner State, Speaker of the House Kris Steele of Shawnee applauded selection of his successor with these worlds: “T.W. is a dynamic and capable leader who will continue to work hard for the state of Oklahoma. I look forward to begin working with him to ensure a smooth leadership transition next year.”
If Republicans maintain control of the state House after the 2012 elections, Rep. Shannon will be the first black Oklahoman, and the fourth member of the Republican party, to serve as Speaker.