Rep. T.W. Shannon has been elected House Speaker-designate for the 54th Oklahoma Legislature.
His elected is historic; he is the first black elected to the top position. He also is the first black to represent a southern Oklahoma district.
The House Republican Caucus elected Shannon, R-Lawton, as Speaker-designate during a caucus meeting Monday morning at the Capitol.
Should Republicans maintain their majority in the House following next year’s election cycle, Shannon will be next in line to serve as Speaker of the House beginning in November 2012, when current House Speaker Kris Steele leaves office due to term limits.
“The House will be in good hands under Representative Shannon’s leadership,” said Steele, R-Shawnee. “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.”
Shannon and Reps. Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, and Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, were the candidates for Speaker-designate.
“The three candidates who made themselves available to fill this position are fine public servants and are to be commended for their enthusiastic desire to be leaders in Oklahoma’s effort to grow as a state,” Steele said.
Shannon, 33, said he looks forward to working with Steele and the rest of the House in the coming months.
“I was extremely humbled by the support shown by my colleagues today,” Shannon said. “I am excited and ready to stand behind Speaker Steele to help grow our majority in the coming election and assist in advancing a conservative agenda that will make Oklahoma a destination to live, work and raise a family.”
Shannon, an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, is a sixth generation Oklahoman and third generation Lawtonian. He has served in the Legislature since 2006, representing House District 62. Shannon previously served as a congressional staffer for U.S. Reps. J.C. Watts and Tom Cole.
Shannon and his wife, Devon, also a Lawton native, are the parents of a daughter, Audrey Grace, and a son, Tahrohon Wayne II.
Shannon holds a bachelor of arts in communications from Cameron University and a juris doctorate from Oklahoma City University.