A consultant to Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R) said Tuesday that Shannon will soon file an exploratory committee for a Senate run, according to the Tulsa World.
Shannon would become the second Oklahoma Republican to dip his toe into the special election for retiring Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) seat. He would also be seeking to become the second African American GOP senator currently serving.
Trebor Worthen, a former state representative who has been a campaign consultant to Shannon as well as 2nd District U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, among others, said Shannon would file the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
Under federal election laws, organizing an exploratory committee allows a potential candidate to raise a relatively small amount of money without following the regular reporting requirements. The person organizing the exploratory committee cannot identify themselves as a candidate for the office in question.
Shannon is investigating the possibility of seeking the seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn at the end of this year. Fifth District U.S. Rep. James Lankford on Monday became the first to enter the race.
First District U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, favored by some groups who consider Lankford insufficiently conservative, may also enter the Republican primary.
Shannon is a protege of 4th District U.S. Rep. Tom Cole and former 4th District congressman J.C. Watts and is a member of the Chickasaw Nation. Shannon is also of African-American descent, and is the state's first black House speaker.
The Fix last year named the 35-year-old Shannon one of 10 rising stars in American politics.