OKLAHOMA CITY — House Speaker T.W. Shannon formally stepped down today as the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, citing his commitment to his bid for the U.S. Senate to replace Senator Tom Coburn.
"It has been a great honor to serve as Speaker of the House, and I am proud of the things we as a team accomplished," said Shannon. "Since I was elected by my caucus as Speaker Designate in October of 2011, the House Republicans passed measures to increase government transparency and expanded its majority by several seats. We fundamentally reformed the worker's compensation system, saving Oklahoma businesses $140 million in premium costs in the first year alone. We added work requirements to welfare recipients. And we refused to burden future generations of Oklahomans with more debt.
"But now it is time for a new leader to take up the cause of generating conservative policy. The people of Oklahoma deserve a leader who is 100% dedicated to solving the challenging issues that face our state. I am stepping aside so a new Speaker can be fully devoted to the business of the state, as I turn my attention to solving the problems that face our country. So many of the problems we face here in Oklahoma stem from the unprecedented overreach by the Obama administration, and I believe I am called at this time to stand up and defend the freedoms we all love and enjoy as Americans."
Shannon said his resignation will take effect at noon today.
"I, for now, plan to continue serving as a member of the House to represent the good people of Lawton and District 62," said Shannon. "In that capacity, I will continue advocating for lower taxes, more efficient government, and a pay-as-you-go approach instead of adding more debt to future generations.”
Shannon said he will be forever grateful for the opportunity he had to serve as Speaker of the House.
"It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve in this role, and I am forever thankful and humbled by the trust my colleagues placed in me to be their Speaker. I also ask for your prayers as I take on this difficult challenge in my life. "