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- Congressman to Consider John McCain Primary Challenge
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Posts in "Okla.-1"
January 22, 2014
A political unknown just four years ago, Rep. James Lankford has swiftly positioned himself as the front-runner in what could be a crowded GOP primary field to replace retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.
Conservative groups quickly panned Lankford after he announced his Senate bid on Monday. But the 5th District lawmaker starts the contest both with $450,000 in the bank and an established base of faith-based conservatives that GOP operatives argue will be tough for other Senate hopefuls to overcome — especially in a runoff.
“[Lankford] has that incredible base that nobody else has in terms of the Baptist community, which is huge here,” said one Oklahoma Republican operative, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly. “The faith-based community has always been very influential and important in these types of things. I mean, this is the Bible Belt.” Full story
June 27, 2012
Rep. John Sullivan unexpectedly lost the GOP primary Tuesday night to U.S. Navy Reserve pilot Jim Bridenstine, a political newcomer who has tea party support.
The five-term Congressman trailed Bridenstine 46 percent to 54 percent, with 94 percent of precincts reporting at 12:30 a.m., when the Associated Press called the race. Sullivan, who was first elected to Congress in a 2002 special election, vastly outspent his challenger, the former executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.
During the campaign, Bridenstine attacked Sullivan as an out-of-touch politician and for his lackluster attendance record in Congress, saying he missed 9 percent of votes, according to local reports. Sullivan acknowledged he has missed votes because of his battle with alcoholism, for which he checked himself into a rehabilitation center in 2009.
“I’ve never had a race like this in all my life,” Sullivan told the Associated Press a few days ago. “The only mistake I made was I ignored it for too long.”
The 1st district, which includes Tulsa, is a solid GOP seat that only incurred minimal changes in redistricting. The district voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) with 64 percent in 2008. Bridenstine will be the next Member representing this seat in all likelihood.
Sullivan is the eighth House Member to lose a primary this cycle, although four of those have lost to another Member in a race created by redistricting. To see who else isn’t returning to the 113th Congress, check out our Casualty List.