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April 25, 2014

Posts in "Okla. Senate"

April 16, 2014

Ted Cruz Endorses Candidate in Oklahoma Senate Race

 

Ted Cruz Endorses Candidate in Oklahoma Senate Race

Cruz is a Republican from Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, endorsed former state Speaker T.W. Shannon in Oklahoma’s Senate special election, marking the latest tea party leader to back his candidacy in the Sooner State.

Shannon will face GOP Rep. James Lankford, as well as a handful of other lesser-known Republicans, in a June 24 special election primary. There is a special election because Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has announced he will vacate his Senate seat at the end of this Congress, two years before his term expires in 2016.

“T.W. Shannon is a strong Constitutional conservative who will fight for individual liberty and help turn our country around,” Cruz said in a Wednesday news release. “T.W. embodies the American dream. I’m proud to offer T.W. my enthusiastic endorsement because not only will he vote the right way, but he’ll stand up and fight with us in the Senate to stop President Obama’s assault on our liberties and defend America’s founding principles.”

March 27, 2014

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses in Oklahoma Senate Race

Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses in Oklahoma Senate Race

Lankford is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon, one of a handful of Republicans running in Oklahoma’s open-seat Senate race, received the endorsement of the Senate Conservatives Fund Thursday, a group that spends heavily to boost tea-party-aligned candidates into office.

“T.W. Shannon is a constitutional conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending and debt that are bankrupting our country,” SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins said in a news release. “We’re supporting T.W. Shannon because he’s a principled conservative, he has strong grassroots support in Oklahoma, and he can win if Americans come together to support his campaign.”

Shannon will face off with GOP Rep. James Lankford and handful of other Oklahoma Republicans in a special-election primary on June 24. The seat is open because GOP Sen. Tom Coburn will resign at the end of the 113th Congress.

Conservative groups had initially sought to recruit Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., to face off against Lankford in the contest. However when Bridenstine declined to run, it was unclear whether groups such as the SCF and Club for Growth would play in the Sooner State Senate contest.

The Republican who wins the primary will likely be the next senator from Oklahoma, as GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the state with 67 percent in 2012. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote in the June 24 primary, the top two contenders head to a runoff on Aug. 26.

Oklahoma’s Senate race is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

March 18, 2014

Outside Group’s Poll Shows Tightening Oklahoma Senate Primary

The special-election primary to replace resigning Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is tightening after an advertising blitz benefiting Republican state Speaker T.W. Shannon.

A poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, an outside group backing Shannon, found the state speaker cutting into the early GOP primary lead of Rep. James Lankford. Lankford, who is the favorite to fill the remaining two years of Coburn’s term, led with 37 percent, followed by Shannon with 28 percent and former state Sen. Randy Brogdon with 7 percent.

A half dozen candidates are running to replace Coburn, a favorite among conservatives, who is stepping down at the end of the year. The special is following the state’s regular election schedule: If no candidate receives a majority of support in the June 24 primary, the top two finishers will face off in an Aug. 26 runoff and the winner will move on to November. Full story

February 19, 2014

T.W. Shannon Releases First Ad in Oklahoma Senate Special (Video)

State Speaker T.W. Shannon, one of a handful of Republicans running for the Senate special election in Oklahoma, is up with his first TV ad of the cycle, his campaign announced Wednesday.

The minute-long bio spot, which details Shannon’s faith and his stance on lowering the debt, is backed by a $150,000 buy. It will run on broadcast stations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and statewide on cable stations.

“T.W. Shannon is a sixth-generation Oklahoman,” a narrator says in the ad. “T.W. is guided by his faith. Raised by working class parents, T.W. learned that success comes from hard work, not handouts. And it’s those values that T.W. and his wife, Devon, are teaching their two kids.”

Full story

January 30, 2014

Republican Considers Switch to Okla. Senate Special

Republican Considers Switch to Okla. Senate Special

Coburn is resigning at the end of 2014 (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Randy Brogdon, a conservative former state senator currently challenging Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, is considering running in the Senate special election instead.

“He has got a lot of people inside of Oklahoma, probably eight or nine out of 10, that are urging him to run for Senate, and he is listening very intently to those urges,” Brogdon senior adviser Louis Waller said when reached by CQ Roll Call.

Brogdon’s potential entrance comes just after Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a favorite among conservative outside groups, decided against a bid. Groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project had pushed for Bridenstine to run as a conservative alternative to Rep. James Lankford, who announced his bid for the seat earlier this month.

Brogdon, who lost to Fallin in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, has the kind of tea party profile that could garner support from those groups. If he runs, Brogdon would be the third major Republican in the race, along with state Speaker T.W. Shannon. Candidates have until April 11 to file for the race, which follows the state’s regular election year schedule.

The Madison Project, which recruits conservative candidates, declined to comment on whether they have met with Brogdon.

Full story

Conservative Groups Could Give Up on Okla. Senate Special

Conservative outside groups are increasingly likely to stay on the sidelines in the Oklahoma Senate special election now that Rep. Jim Bridenstine has decided not to run, multiple GOP sources said.

Groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project had encouraged Bridenstine to run in the GOP primary as a conservative alternative to Rep. James Lankford, who was the first candidate to announce a bid. The entrance Wednesday by state Speaker T.W. Shannon, an African American named a rising star by the Republican National Committee, was met with equally little excitement among the groups.

Unless another candidate is recruited, these groups may choose to sit out the race to replace resigning GOP Sen. Tom Coburn —  a hero among the conservative grass roots for his battles against government waste.

“For the outside groups to back T.W., it means they really, really hate Lankford enough that they would back an RNC-touted candidate instead of sitting the race out,” said one Republican insider in Oklahoma.

Full story

January 29, 2014

Bridenstine Won’t Seek Coburn’s Senate Seat

Bridenstine Wont Seek Coburns Senate Seat

Bridenstine, left, will not be running against Lankford. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., announced Wednesday that he will not run for the open Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla, in 2014.

Outside groups such as the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project put pressure on Bridenstine to enter the contest as a conservative alternative to GOP Rep. James Lankford, who already announced his candidacy.

“Since Dr. Tom Coburn’s retirement announcement, I have been honored and overwhelmed by encouragement to succeed him as Oklahoma’s senator,” Bridenstine said in a statement. “After giving this matter serious consideration and prayer, my family and I have decided I will not to run in the special election to complete Dr. Coburn’s term.”

Full story

January 28, 2014

Tom Cole: Outside Groups Will Waste Money in Okla. Special

Tom Cole: Outside Groups Will Waste Money in Okla. Special

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole says conservative outside groups that consider getting involved in the race to replace Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., will be wasting their money.

The Senate Conservatives Fund and Madison Project have encouraged GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine to enter the special election field as a conservative alternative to Rep. James Lankford, who is so far the only declared candidate in what’s expected to be a competitive race.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Cole said he doesn’t believe well-financed outside groups interested in assisting a particular candidate will have a great effect on the outcome of the race — no matter how much they spend.

“Groups coming from outside the state, coming to try and set the agenda, sorry,” Cole said. “You are welcome to come, but you ought to look at your track record.”

Full story

January 22, 2014

Lankford to Conservative Groups: ‘I’m Not Their Enemy’

Lankford to Conservative Groups: Im Not Their Enemy

Lankford is running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

January 19, 2014

Lankford Seeks Senate as Cole Declines in Oklahoma

Lankford Seeks Senate as Cole Declines in Oklahoma

Lankford is reportedly running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:57 p.m. | Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., intends to run for GOP Sen. Tom Coburn’s seat and could make a formal announcement as early as Monday, according to NewsOK.

Meanwhile, six-term Republican Rep. Tom Cole announced Sunday that he would pass on running for the seat.

“I am very flattered to be among those mentioned, as any Oklahoma Republican would be honored to succeed someone as distinguished as Tom Coburn,” Cole said in a news release. “After considerable thought, however, I have decided not to run for the U.S. Senate in 2014.”

Cole cited his seniority, role as a Republican deputy whip and committee assignments as his reasons for not running. These roles “make me much more valuable to Oklahoma and the Fourth District in the House than I could be as a freshman U.S. Senator,” he said.

Coburn, who is battling cancer, announced last week that he will exit the Senate two years before the end of his second term. The special election will take place concurrent with the 2014 midterm elections, with a primary on June 24.

Full story

January 17, 2014

Special Election Dates Set to Replace Coburn

Special Election Dates Set to Replace Coburn

Coburn is resigning at the end of 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The special election to replace Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., will take place concurrent with the regularly scheduled 2014 primary and general elections, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin announced Friday.

The primary will be held June 24, a runoff would be Aug. 26, and the general will be Nov. 4. The timeline ensures that the Sooner State will not have to spend extra funds to choose the two-term senator’s replacement.

Coburn announced late Thursday night that he will resign at the end of the 113th Congress. His exit will likely set off a crowded and competitive primary for the seat in this solidly Republican state.

Full story

November 28, 2012

Inside the 2014 Senate Races

Inside the 2014 Senate Races
Roll Call’s initial Senate ratings outlook projects a potentially bullish cycle for Republicans, with an opportunity to recapture the majority for the first time in eight years.

But that’s exactly how things looked two years before the 2012 elections, when Democrats surprised many with victories in Missouri and North Dakota on their way to picking up two seats. So the challenge for the GOP and incoming National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas is to capitalize on their opportunities.

That and how voters feel about President Barack Obama in 2014 could determine how the parties fare at the ballot box less than two years from now. Democrats won their current majority in 2006, in the second midterm election under President George W. Bush.

Republicans are hoping Obama’s second midterm is similarly kind to them, if not equal to the president’s 2010 midterm shellacking, when the GOP won seven seats (and control of the House) despite beginning the cycle as the underdog.

Full story

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