The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

January 8, 2013

Shannon elected 1st black Oklahoma House speaker

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

"We have seen that dependence on government leads to poverty, addiction and human failure," Shannon said. "The best social program in the world is a high-paying job."

Shannon was sworn into office by Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Judge David Lewis, a former Comanche County judge who Shannon said encouraged him to attend law school.

After his election, Shannon received a standing ovation and hugged his wife and two children, who were on the floor for Tuesday's votes. U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, for whom Shannon worked as a field representative before being elected to the House in 2006, sat in the gallery.

"It says a lot of wonderful things about the state that we have an African American and tribal member holding this job, a lot of good thing about his (caucus) that chose him, and a lot of great things about the Republican Party," said Cole, also a member of the Chickasaw Nation, who is beginning his fifth term in Congress. "But mostly it says a lot of great things about T.W. and his family. He's a quintessential Oklahoma success story."

Also on Tuesday, the House voted to select Rep. Mike Jackson, R-Enid, as House speaker pro tem in a party-line vote over Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs.

In the Senate, Sapulpa Republican Sen. Brian Bingman was voted into a second term as Senate president pro tem, while Claremore Democratic Sen. Sean Burrage will again serve as Senate minority leader.

 

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