Lankford is running for Senate in Oklahoma. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Don’t call it a comeback. Rep. James Lankford was always there.
But the Oklahoma Republican’s Senate bid has picked up momentum ahead of Tuesday’s primary, which now looks likely proceed to a runoff, giving Lankford his clearest shot at the open seat.
To win the GOP nod, the two-term congressman must eclipse the national star power of his most formidable opponent, former state Speaker T.W. Shannon, in a battle that also includes former state Sen. Randy Brogdon and several lesser-known candidates. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the primary vote Tuesday, the top two vote recipients head to an August runoff.
Lankford’s recent rise in polls and on the airwaves are signals that scenario, and his chances of taking the nomination, are increasingly likely, according to Sooner State Republicans.
“It seems to me now like Lankford has the momentum,” said Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Dave Weston.