Concept

Tom Cole

Résumé
Thomas Jeffery Cole (born April 28, 1949) is the U.S. representative for , serving since 2003. He is a member of the Republican Party and serves as the chairman of the House Rules Committee. During his tenure as the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) from 2006 to 2008, he was the fourth-ranking Republican in the House. A member of the Chickasaw Nation, Cole is one of five Native Americans in Congress who are enrolled tribal members. The others are fellow Republicans Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma (Cherokee) and Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma (Choctaw), and Democrats Sharice Davids of Kansas (HoChunk) and Mary Peltola of Alaska (Yupik). In 2022, Cole became the longest-serving Native American in the history of Congress. Cole was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, the son of John D. Cole and Helen Te Ata (née Gale), who was the first Native American elected to the Oklahoma Senate. They returned to Oklahoma, where family on both sides lived. His ancestors had been in the territory for five generations, and he was raised in Moore, halfway between Oklahoma City and Norman. Cole 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's Ph.D. thesis was Life and Labor in the Isle of Dogs: The Origins and Evolution of an East London Working-Class Community, 1800–1980. He did research abroad as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow and was a Fulbright Fellow (1977–78) at the University of London. He served as an assistant professor in history and politics in college before entering politics and winning political office. Following his mother, who served as a state representative and senator, Cole was elected to the Oklahoma Senate in 1988, serving until 1991. He chaired the Oklahoma Republican Party for much of the 1980s. He resigned from the state senate mid-term to accept an appointment as executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
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