Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Despite being born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Cole is a fifth-generation Oklahoman, raised in Moore, Oklahoma and a member of the Chickasaw Nation. He graduated from Grinnell College and got a MA from Yale University and a PhD from the University of Oklahoma. Cole 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 who served as a state representative and senator, Cole served in the Oklahoma state senate from 1988 to 1991 as a Republican. He was the Oklahoma secretary of state from 1995 to 1999. Cole ran for the House of Representatives in 2002. He won the general election over Darryl Roberts by 13,000 votes (8 percent). As of 2005, Cole was one of only two Native Americans in the House of Representatives.
Cole has served as Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party and Chief of Staff of the Republican National Committee.
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