, Muskogee, OK

February 4, 2014

State House speaker steps down from post

— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)  —  Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon resigned Tuesday from one of the most powerful positions in state government to focus on his run for a U.S. Senate seat and kicked into overdrive a race to succeed him.

Shannon said on the House floor that he would resign as speaker immediately, telling his 100 colleagues it wouldn’t be fair while legislators bickered over, then passed, a resolution requiring the Pledge of Allegiance to be said each day.

Shannon’s resignation will formalize the race within the 72-member Republican caucus to replace him among Reps. Jeff Hickman of Dacoma, Mike Jackson of Enid, and Jason Nelson of Oklahoma City. All three confirmed to The Associated Press that they are actively seeking the post, and each said he does not expect the race to divide the caucus.