- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Republican House Speaker T.W. Shannon says a growing number of business leaders from across the state are urging him to enter the race for Oklahoma’s open U.S. Senate seat, and that he intends to formally announce his decision this week.

Shannon released a statement with the names of three dozen business owners he says have joined his exploratory committee, another signal the 35-year-old Lawton Republican may enter the race. Shannon could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, but he said in the statement he planned to announce his decision “sometime this week.”

Two-term Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankford already has announced his plans to run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Tom Coburn, and U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Tulsa also is considering the race.

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