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Okla. House Republicans Select Speaker-Designate (Oct 17, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - House Republicans have selected Lawton Rep. T.W. Shannon to be speaker-designate. The vote paves the way for him to become the first African-American House speaker in state history.

The Republican caucus picked Shannon over Rep. Jeff Hickman and Rep. Mike Reynolds during a closed-door meeting Monday at the state Capitol. Hickman is the speaker pro tem under current House Speaker Kris Steele. The vote count was not released.

Shannon will now work closely with Steele's office and play an active role in supporting Republicans in the 2012 elections.

Shannon works as a human resources and public relations consultant. He still must be elected by the Republican caucus after the 2012 elections - but that vote is typically considered a formality.

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