T.W. Shannon learned the values of faith, family, hard work, and personal responsibility in the pews of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Lawton, Okla. He still serves there today as a Sunday School teacher.
A champion for limited government, T.W. first was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2006 from his hometown of Lawton.
Chosen by his Republican House colleagues, T.W. became Oklahoma’s youngest and first African American House speaker. He is also an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation.
When T.W. became speaker of the House in Oklahoma, he advocated for policies that could break the devastating cycle of government dependency, instead helping people move toward self-reliance. He understands the key to helping people who are dependent on government assistance restore their dignity is to break the cycle of generational poverty. He continues to be a leading voice in Oklahoma politics for State’s rights, and has been coined by many “the most conservative Speaker in State History.”
T.W. has worked hard to shrink the size of state government and reduce the state’s debt. He led the way to lower income tax rates so people could keep more of what they earn. He insisted that the state sell its underutilized assets. He authored the monumental workers compensation reform which saves businesses millions of dollars. He also authored welfare reform which adds work requirements for healthy food stamp recipients.
GOPAC recently recognized T.W. by adding this proud Oklahoman to its advisory board. The Republican National Committee recently named Shannon one of its “Rising Stars.”
Shannon has reliably supported pro-life legislation. He has participated in the Pro-Family Legislators Conference, sponsored by historian David Barton’s WallBuilders organization.
T.W. earned a bachelor of arts in communications from Cameron University and holds a juris doctorate from Oklahoma City University Law School. He worked as a field representative for former Congressman J.C. Watts and served Congressman Tom Cole in the same position after he won the seat. At a young age fresh out of college, T.W. served as the chief administrative officer for the Chickasaw Nation, one of the most prosperous Native American tribes in the country.
T.W has been married to his college sweetheart, Devon, for 12 years and they have two children, Audrey Grace and T.W. II.