Claremore Daily Progress

Our View

January 17, 2014

Who will run for Coburn’s seat?


Come November, Oklahoma voters will have two U.S. Senate seats to fill.
Sen. James Inhofe is up for re-election in the normal 6-year cycle and Oklahoma’s senior senator is highly favored to return to Washington.
The surprise announcement that Sen. Tom Coburn will resign his seat at the end of this Congressional session throws open quite a horse race. Since Oklahoma is one of only four states in the Union that does not allow for the governor to appoint a replacement to serve what’s left of Coburn’s term — 2 years — voters will have the opportunity to choose.
With Coburn’s sudden news, candidates from both parties are scurrying to make a decision. Running for statewide office takes more than a few months of planning and fundraising. That’s what anyone who has a desire to run for Coburn’s seat is facing.
The filing deadline is April 11, followed by a primary on June 24 and whoever wins will face off on Nov. 4.
With a small window of decision, just who are the front-runners?
Among Republicans, Rep. James Lankford, District 5 Congressman, stands out. Elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2012, he comes from the same political perspective as Coburn, though he may not be as extreme.
Lankford is intelligent and would bring broad-base support from Republicans. As the former leader of Oklahoma Baptist’s Falls Creek, his foundation of family values combined with his stance on targeted budget cuts are music to Oklahoma voters’ ears.
He serves on the House Committee on Budget, which he has had strong input on holding the Obama Administration to task on increased taxes. He is also a member of the House Commission on Oversight and Government Reform as well as chairs a House Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements.

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