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Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) speaks on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 4, 2008. (UPI Photo/Brian Kersey)
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Thomas Jeffery Cole (born April 28, 1949) is the U.S. Representative for Oklahoma's 4th congressional district, serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party. He is a Deputy Minority Whip. The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) from 2006 to 2008, he was, during his tenure, the fourth-ranking Republican leader in the House. As of 2010, Cole—a member of the Chickasaw Nation—is the only registered Native American in Congress.

Although born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Cole is a fifth-generation Oklahoman, having been raised in Moore, Oklahoma. He graduated from Grinnell College in 1971 with a B.A. in history. His postgraduate degrees include an M.A. from Yale University (1974) and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma (1984), both in British history. Cole did research abroad as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow and was a Fulbright Fellow (1977–78) at the University of London. He was a college professor in history and politics before becoming a politician.

Following his mother Helen, who served as a state representative and senator, Cole served in the Oklahoma Senate from 1988 to 1991, resigning mid-term to accept a job in Washington. From 1995 to 1999, he was Oklahoma's Secretary of State under Governor Frank Keating, and assisted with the recovery efforts following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. He has also served as Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tom Cole."
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