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Lankford Seeks Senate as Cole Declines in Oklahoma
Posted at 6:46 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2014
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.
NewsOK also noted two Republicans, Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas and state Sen. Clark Jolley, are expected to run in an open-seat race to replace Lankford in the 5th District. Both Republicans were mentioned in last week’s edition of Roll Call’s “Farm Team” series, which focused on Sooner State political up-and-comers.
Lankford declined to comment in the NewsOK report.
Daniel Newhauser contributed to this report.