Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, a Republican from Lawton, plans a three-city announcement on Wednesday that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee. A source close to Shannon said he will make separate announcements in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Lawton.
Shannon on Tuesday sent an email to fellow state House members saying he felt called to run for the Senate “because I believe it is vitally important for Oklahoma to have a strong conservative voice in the Senate, and I hope my fellow Oklahomans will agree. We need leaders in Washington, D.C. who know how to craft conservative policies that lead to prosperity, which is exactly what we have done together here in our state.
“I want you to know that I will remain Speaker for the time being. I am not stepping down immediately because I want to ensure a smooth transition that does not disrupt the important business of the state, nor distract from the legislative goals of our Caucus. I will be working with our leadership team, and the Caucus as a whole, to determine the appropriate timing and nature of the transition.
“In closing, let me just say how thankful I am to serve as your Speaker. The trust you placed in me to accomplish our common goals will remain the honor of a lifetime.”
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, is running for the seat, and Oklahoma City businessman Eric McCray announced that also he plans to run for the GOP nomination.