T.W. Shannon

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TW Shannon
Speaker Shannon.jpg
Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
In office
January 8, 2013 – February 10, 2014
Preceded by Kris Steele
Succeeded by Jeff Hickman
Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
from the 62nd district
Assumed office
January 2007
Preceded by Abe Deutschendorf
Personal details
Born (1978-02-24) February 24, 1978 (age 36)
Lawton, Oklahoma, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Devon Murray
Alma mater Cameron University
Oklahoma City University
Religion Baptist
Website Official website

Tahrohon Wayne Shannon (born February 24, 1978) is a United States politician from the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Shannon was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives from his hometown of Lawton in 2006.[1] In a ceremony on January 8, 2013, Shannon took the oath of office to be Oklahoma’s first African-American Speaker of the House.[2] Shannon currently still serves in the Oklahoma House of Representatives but stepped down as the Speaker of the House to run for the Republican nomination in the special senate election to succeed U.S. Senator Tom Coburn.[3]

Despite Tea Party support and endorsements that included U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and former Governor Sarah Palin, Shannon lost the Republican nomination for the Senate to U.S. Representative James Lankford by almost 20 points.[4][5]

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Oklahoma on February 24, 1978, Shannon earned a bachelors of arts degree in communications from Cameron University and holds a juris doctor from Oklahoma City University Law School. He worked as a field representative for former Congressman J. C. Watts a decade ago[when?] and served in the same position for Congressman Tom Cole the following two years. An enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, he worked as the chief administrative officer for Chickasaw Nation Enterprises.

Shannon serves as a youth Sunday school teacher at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Lawton. He met his wife, Devon (Murray), at Cameron University and married her in 2001.[6] They have two children, a daughter and son. Today, he operates a home-based public relations business.[6]

Political career[edit]

Shannon is sworn in as Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Shannon was first elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2006, beating opponent Janice Drewry in the general election.[7] He rose to leadership in the state House, where he served as deputy majority whip in his first term, chaired the transportation committee in his second term and was elected speaker-designate in his third term. On January 8, 2013, Shannon took the oath of office to be the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

He has advocated for identifying and selling off state-owned properties that were not being fully utilized.[8] Shannon sponsored an eight-year plan to divert state income tax revenue to repairing Oklahoma’s structurally deficient bridges.[9]

As Speaker, Shannon authored legislation to create a long-term plan to address the maintenance of state-owned properties and consolidate property management entities.[10]

The first sale under the program to sell off state-owned properties was the sale of a former studio for the state public television station for $130,000. The next properties up for sale are a town lot in Buffalo and 5.58 acres in Marietta.[11]

Shannon advocated a controversial measure to require Oklahoma recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) to perform at least 35 hours of work activities or be denied aid. The work requirement was scaled back after the cost of providing job training to SNAP recipients became clear.[12]

GOPAC, an organization whose mission it is to support up-and-coming Republican leaders, added Shannon to its national advisory board in 2013.[13]


House District 62 encompasses Lawton, Oklahoma and its surrounding communities.[14]


  1. ^ Oklahoma State Election Board (accessed March 21, 2013).
  2. ^ McNutt, Michael. "T.W. Shannon of Lawton officially takes Oklahoma House speakers post," The Oklahoman, January 9, 2013 (accessed March 21, 2013).
  3. ^ "T.W. Shannon Enters Race For Oklahoma Senate Seat". The Huffington Post. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Parti, Tarini (June 24, 2014). "James Lankford wins Oklahoma GOP Senate nomination outright". POLITICO. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ "James Lankford defeats T.W. Shannon in Oklahoma Senate primary", MSNBC, Benjy Sarlin, June 25, 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  6. ^ a b Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon making name for himself, Tulsa World, April 28, 2013.
  7. ^ 2006 General Election, Oklahoma State Election Board (accessed May 27, 2013)
  8. ^ McNutt, Michael. Oklahoma should sell some buildings to fund capitol repairs, lawmaker saysThe Oklahoman November 14, 2011. (accessed March 23, 2013).
  9. ^ Hoberock, Barbara. Oklahoma funding to increase bridge repairs, Tulsa World, June 12, 2012. (accessed March 23, 2013)
  10. ^ "Effort to sell Oklahoma's unused buildings, properties", The Oklahoman March 10, 2013 (accessed March 23, 2013).
  11. ^ Krehbiel, Randy. "Ex-OETA studio sold through new state program", Tulsa World, July 4, 2013. (accessed July 11, 2013)
  12. ^ McNutt, Michael and Kemp, Adam. "Oklahoma House speaker scales back food stamp work requirement", The Oklahoman, March 8, 2011. (accessed June 27, 2013).
  13. ^ CPAC (accessed March 21, 2013).
  14. ^ House Districts, Congressional and Other Maps, Oklahoma House of Representatives. (access March 21, 2013).

External links[edit]