“An honor like this is a challenge as well as an accolade and it’s something I will do my very best to live up to as long as I’m privileged to hold office and to serve the people of Oklahoma and thanks to them the people of the United States.”
Tom Cole was elected to Congress in 2002 and is currently serving in his ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Identified by TIME Magazine as 'one of the sharpest minds in the House,' he is an advocate for a strong national defense, a strong proponent for biomedical research, an advocate for taxpayers and small businesses, and a leader on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments.
Cole has a significant background of service to his home state of Oklahoma. Before Congress, he served as State Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, District Director to former Congressman Mickey Edwards, and a member of the Oklahoma State Senate. He also served as Oklahoma's Secretary of State under Governor Frank Keating.
Cole is widely regarded as one of the GOP's top political strategists. He served as executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee in the 1992 cycle. He also served as chief of staff of the Republican National Committee. In the 2008 cycle, Cole served as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Tom Cole is a fifth-generation Oklahoman and an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation. He and his wife, Ellen, have one son, Mason, and reside in Moore.
The year of his induction was also the 60th Anniversary of Te Ata Fisher, Cole’s great aunt, being inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
The Congressman’s mother, Helen Cole, both preceded him and succeeded him in the Oklahoma State Senate.