Oklahoma's House speaker to help national GOP

The Republican National Committee's chairman calls Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon a rising star. The speaker will appear at GOP fundraisers later this month in Texas.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: May 14, 2013

Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, the only black Republican speaker in the country, will appear at fundraisers and other events on behalf of the Republican National Committee, which is reeling from back-to-back presidential losses and struggling to cope with a changing racial and ethnic makeup in America.

“Your speaker here is a rising star of our entire country,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, during an appearance with Shannon, R-Lawton, at the state Capitol.

“He's somebody that we see as a party as being a person we'd love to build a party around and help him. But more importantly I think he can really help us as well.”

Priebus said Monday that Shannon will appear at a couple fundraiser events with former Vice President Dick Cheney later this month in Texas.

Oklahoma, dominated by Republican elected officials, has one of the best business climates in the U.S., which can be attributed to the GOP leadership, he said.

The Republican National Committee plans this year to send hundreds of party workers into Hispanic, black and Asian communities to promote itself among voters who overwhelmingly supported Democrats in 2012.