(Oklahoma City)- Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell released the following statement upon the election yesterday of Representative T.W. Shannon as House Speaker-designate. Shannon will become the first African American Speaker of the House in Oklahoma history: "I'd like to congratulate Speaker-designate T.W. Shannon on this historic occasion," said Chairman Pinnell. "Just three short years ago, the New York Times ran a story questioning the motives of Oklahoma voters after all of Oklahoma's 77 counties went for the McCain-Palin ticket. The article ultimately implied that racism played a part in Oklahoma's rejection of the Obama campaign. Monday's election of T.W. Shannon as Speaker-designate by Republican House members from all across the state clearly demonstrates that it isn't the color of ones skin, but the policies they promote." "Oklahomans rejected President Obama because of his liberal agenda, not because of his color," continued Pinnell. "Likewise, Speaker-designate Shannon's election is one based upon his conservative convictions, not because of color." "Oklahomans can be confident in T.W.'s integrity and leadership as Speaker for the 54th Legislature, and I have no doubt he will be a conservative voice on the national level as well. I look forward to working with Speaker-designate Shannon as we continue to further the conservative message of strong family values, a vibrant free-market economy, and lower taxes and government spending right here in Oklahoma," concluded Pinnell. T.W. Shannon will take office as one of the nation's youngest Speakers of the House at age 34, and he is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation.