LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – A Lawton native was one of more than a dozen people who met with President-elect Donald Trump over the weekend.
Former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon was spotted in New Jersey Sunday night where Trump was holding consultations with potential cabinet members.
Shannon served as House Speaker for one full legislative session before making an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in 2014. He currently works as a financial consultant in Tulsa.
Shannon said he and Trump discussed a wide variety of topics, but he was particularly happy to speak about what he calls "The Forgotten Americans", or those who are struggling to make ends meet. He said it was encouraging to hear Trump's vision for making sure those in need are well represented.
Shannon is still out of the state in meetings, but in a phone interview said he thinks his meeting with Trump went well and he expects more talks in the future.
"I left that meeting really excited about the direction of our country, really excited about America dreaming big again. Moving America forward, making America great again, not settling for second best. That's not who we are as a country, that's never what we've been satisfied with," Shannon said.
Shannon grew up in Lawton, graduated from Lawton High School and is still a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church. His pastor , Dr. Willie Smith, said he is extremely excited about the meeting.
"As a Christian, I do believe he feels that Godly men and women in the presence of the President-elect will enhance the atmosphere there and that's what we need," Smith said.
Smith said Shannon and many others are necessary to help bridge the divide in our country right now.
"Like any other friends I have, we don't agree on everything, but we agree on the main thing," Smith said. "That is to continue the work of making America better, which provides a greater lifestyle for every American as well as greater opportunities. And I think President-elect Trump is going to need a diverse staff to include people like T.W. and many others to make this happen."
While he hasn't been offered any sort of job yet, Shannon said he is just happy he can bring his Oklahoma values to the presidential table.
"To take those values with me to any room and to any conversation that I'm engaging and that's no different when you're engaging with someone who, oh, by the way, happens to be the next leader of the free world. While it's a humbling experience, I do think that we in places like Oklahoma have a lot to offer to the rest of the country. I'm glad I was at least able to be a voice to that," Shannon said.
Shannon said looking around the room and seeing accomplished men like Rudy Giuliani was extremely humbling and made him thankful he was selected for the meeting.