Oklahoma's Speaker of the House and Lawton native T.W. Shannon has announced that he will run for the position of Senator of Oklahoma this year.

Shannon toured the state to deliver his announcement speech. He ended his tour in Lawton at Bethlehem Baptist Church, which he grew up in and credits much of professional success.

Shannon opened his announcement by thanking his family and influential people in his life, as well as discussing the history when the nation was founded.

"Since the first days of our nation we have been a country that values freedom," Shannon said. "So much so that our Constitution includes a Bill of Rights to guarantee certain freedoms."

Shannon states that the freedoms that Americans value and enjoy should not be endowed by government, the courts or politicians as written by the authors of the Constitution.

He notes that those who serve in public service, serve as ministers and that was how he perceived the work he does as a representative of the people who elected him.

During the time of the Revolutionary War, The Founding Fathers fought for the freedom of oppression from the British Monarchy through means of religious freedoms and unfair taxation. Throughout the years those very freedoms have become more restricted and Shannon vows to represent Oklahoma to stop the restriction of those freedoms granted by the founders of the country.

"I used to believe our freedom was so deeply woven into the fabric of this country that nothing could put it at risk," Shannon said. "But over the past few decades I have seen so many of our freedoms and rights under assault that it makes me seriously concerned about what kind of country my children will inherit."

In his speech, Shannon noted that hard work and perseverance was enough to succeed in business, but today that is no longer the case in terms of the Affordable Care Act.

"It used to be in America you could see whatever doctor you wanted to see; you can go buy whatever health insurance you wanted to buy, but that not the case anymore," Shannon said. "We're forced to purchase health insurance we may not want, cover health procedures we may not even need and the doctors you've been going to may not even take that insurance anymore."

Shannon states that if elected he will stand up for families to protect their freedoms, values and go to Washington D.C. to say no to the spending and debt that is bankrupting the country.

During his time as Speaker of House of Oklahoma, Shannon had one goal in mind, "to show the rest of the country what the 'picture on the box looks like', and noted that telling people is no longer enough.

"Whenever we buy new toys for kids at Christmas that require assembly, I don't always read the instructions, I often just look at the picture on the box," Shannon said. "Many times that picture says a lot more than all the words and instructions, because you can see for yourself what it's supposed to look like."

Congressman James Lankford of Oklahoma City is also seeking the Republican nomination for Senator of Oklahoma.

The primary election is set for June 24th, and the Senator elect will take over for Tom Coburn at year's end.

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