Oklahoma Speaker of the House T. W. Shannon announced today in Tulsa that he is running for the United States Senate.
“I’m running … to help restore prosperity, renew traditional values in this country, and reclaim the promise of American greatness for future generations,” said Shannon.
Later in the day, Shannon is expected to announce in Oklahoma City at the Jim Thorpe Association/Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and still later at his home church in Lawton.
Shannon, the first African-American Republican to lead a legislative body in America since Reconstruction is also the youngest ever to serve as Oklahoma Speaker of the House and first African-American to hold the position.
Shannon has managed the passage of a major income tax cut, reduced the amount of bonded indebtedness and promoted pro-life and pro-family measures. He has established a record of pushing back against the Obama administration’s federal intrusion into Oklahoma and authored legislation saving Oklahoma businesses $140 million dollars in workers’ compensation premiums.
A champion for limited government, Shannon was first elected to the House of Representatives from Lawton in 2006. He remains a leader in his community and serves as a trustee of Bethlehem Baptist Church.
The Republican National Committee recently named Shannon a GOP “Rising Star” and the conservative group GOPAC has added him to their advisory board – a significant honor. Shannon has also been active in the Pro-Family Legislators Conference, sponsored by historian David Barton’s organization WallBuilders. Shannon has appeared frequently on national media programs including Glenn Beck’s network, The Blaze.
Several videos and a story previously published by Tulsa Today is available here.
A story by Capital Editor Patrick McGuigan in October 2011 also on Tulsa Today notes Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and legislative leaders laudatory congratulations to Shannon upon his election as House Speaker-designate here.
Today Shannon said, “I’ve watched the politicians in D.C. add trillions of dollars of debt to this country. The day I was sworn in as Speaker, I said very clearly: Oklahoma will not go the way of Washington. I kept my word, and today Oklahomans owe $85 million less in bond debt. If future legislatures follow my lead, Oklahoma can erase 85 percent of its bond debt in just 15 years.”
Shannon earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Cameron University and a juris doctorate from Oklahoma City University Law School. He worked as a field representative for former Congressman J.C. Watts Jr. a decade ago and served in the same position for Congressman Tom Cole after Watts retired. Shannon has been married to his college sweetheart, Devon, for 12 years and they have two children, Audrey Grace and T. W. II. The Shannon family members are enrolled members of the Chickasaw Nation and reside in Lawton.
“When I became Speaker, my goal was for Oklahoma to lead the way in preserving freedom, strengthening families, and growing jobs,” Shannon said today in Tulsa. “We accomplished so much in such a short time. From fundamental reform of our workers’ compensation system to pro-life and pro-family measures, we sent the message that conservative policies lead to more prosperity.”
“Our founding father were very clear that our rights come from God. They didn’t say we were endowed by Government. They didn’t say we were endowed by the courts. They didn’t say our rights were endowed to us from politicians. Your see, the rights we enjoy as Americans are recognized in our Constitution as coming from our Creator,” Shannon said.
“I used to believe that our freedoms were so deeply woven into the fabric of this country that nothing could ever put it at risk. But over the last six years, I have seen so many of our rights under serious assault that it makes me concerned about what kind of country my children will inherit.”
“Oklahomans need someone that will stand up and fight to protect our freedoms. Someone who will fight to protect their values. Someone who will go to Washington D.C. like Dr. Tom Coburn and say no to the spending and debt that is bankrupting our country. Someone who will work everyday to reclaim the promise of the American Dream so that our children and grandchildren can live that dream just like our parents did. For that reason, I announce today my candidacy for the U.S. Senate,” Shannon said.
The audio file of the announcement today in Tulsa follows: