Rep. Lankford jumps into race in Oklahoma for Coburn's Senate seat
OKLAHOMA CITY — Republican Rep. James Lankford on Monday announced his candidacy for the Senate seat left open by Sen. Tom Coburn, who said last week he will resign at the end of this congressional session.
Lankford said that reducing the nation's deficit and long-term debt and pushing for states' rights will continue to be among his top priorities in office.
“Conservatives have increasingly grown more and more frustrated and caustic when we should grow more committed and more focused,” Lankford said to supporters at the Oklahoma History Center. “The problems we face today and the gridlock in Congress will be solved with a clear set of conservative solutions, a commitment to do the work, and a Senate transformation.”
A longtime director of one of the nation's largest Christian youth summer camps, Lankford was a political unknown when he emerged from a crowded Republican primary field in 2010 to win the U.S. House seat. He won re-election in 2012 and was the only member of Oklahoma's House delegation to avoid a GOP primary opponent that year.
Lankford has risen quickly among the GOP leadership in the House and is the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. He landed a spot on the House Budget Committee.
The decision by Coburn, who is battling a recurrence of cancer, to resign the seat two years early has turned a somewhat predictable election year in Oklahoma on its head. The special election will coincide with the regular election cycle in 2014, meaning there will be two Senate seats on the ballot in Oklahoma as Sen. Jim Inhofe seeks re-election.
“A week ago, we were talking about a concern for voter intensity. I think this takes care of that,” said Dave Weston, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party.
Lankford has the advantage of a hefty campaign account. He reported more than $450,000 in cash on hand at the end of September, the most recent report available, and that can be used for a Senate campaign. Bridenstine had about $180,000 in cash at the end of September.
Lankford declined to say how much he has raised, but the next campaign finance report is due next week.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Tighter payday loan rules intended to shield debtors
- Search for less-invasive avenue for brain surgery leads to eyelid, UPMC surgical team
- Cancer rates plunge 22% over 20 years
- Super snowy Sunday: Chicago buried; thousands of flights grounded
- Fine weighed in North Carolina river coal ash spill
- Navy abandons ‘global force for good’ to broaden appeal
- Woman gives birth to baby boy on side of Utah highway
- Pregnant smokers persuaded to quit with free diapers
- Goats offered as alternative for clearing area of plutonium
- ‘Drink of the Devil’ unites formerly feuding families
- Judge expresses doubt about constitutionality of no-fly list