Skip to comments.Lankford to run for Coburn's Senate seat [Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon gets nods to run]
Posted on 01/20/2014 3:46:16 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
Just days after Sen. Tom Coburns (R-Okla.) announcement that hell retire at the end of the year, the race to replace him began to settle with Rep. James Lankford (R) expected to announce his decision to run at a Monday-afternoon press conference, sources tell The Hill.
Rep. Tom Cole (R) announced in a Sunday-night press release that he will not run, citing his seniority in the House. The states attorney general, Scott Pruitt (R), also announced in a Sunday Facebook post he wont run.
The decisions of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R) and Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon still remain unclear. Sources tell The Hill Bridenstine may be leaning against a run after receiving some discouragement from local conservatives, while Shannon is now strongly considering the race.
The Hill reported on Friday that Lankford had been calling colleagues as early as Thursday night, when Coburn announced his plans to retire at the end of the year, to gauge their support. One source indicated Coburn plans to endorse Lankford for his seat, a development that would catapult him to the front of the primary pack and provide him with some credibility with skeptical conservatives in the special election to replace him.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's office announced Friday that a special will be scheduled to run concurrently with this year's regularly scheduled elections, setting up an April filing deadline and a primary fight for June with an August runoff if necessary.
The Oklahoman first reported Lankfords decision on Sunday night.
Cole said in a statement he felt he could do more good for his state in the House than the Senate, where seniority typically reigns supreme.
My seniority, my membership on three major committees, my position as a subcommittee chairman on the Appropriations Committee and my role as a Deputy Whip in the Republican Conference 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.
He also said that hes looking forward to helping nominate and elect another well-qualified conservative in the race.
Pruitt said on Facebook that hes planning to remain attorney general because he feels he can do more good in the state.
At present, my choice is clear: it is serving as Oklahoma's Attorney General, where I can continue to lead the fight for the preservation of our freedoms and constitutional system, he said.
One source tells The Hill that Shannon may be moving closer to running after receiving a tremendous amount of encouragement from local and national conservative groups over the past few days.
If he chooses to run, he would likely compete for the position as the conservative alternative to Lankford in the race, and would easily take up that mantle if Bridenstine chose not to run.
Shannon has strong ties to the states Baptist community, which could eat into one of Lankfords advantages, and would draw support from Oklahomas Native American population, as he is part Chickasaw.
As a onetime aide to former Rep. J.C. Watts, Shannon could count on Wattss starpower and fundraising support if he chooses to run and Watts who is also considering the race stayed out.
The state House speaker's bid would put Cole in a tough spot. Shannon worked as a staffer to the congressman, but Cole also has a close relationship with Lankford, who has looked to him as a mentor of sorts since coming to Washington.
Cole, with his deep connections throughout Oklahoma and the considerable local and national fundraising base he cultivated during his time as National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, would give either candidate a significant boost with his endorsement.
Bridenstine will help Ted Cruz in the Senate.
*OK Senate race ping*
I’m not familiar with the field.
As long as a real conservative wins I’m for it.
who is the congressman from Tulsa? Is that Bridenstine?
I don’t know how you find a better candidate than Bridenstine.
Of course, the ultimate test will be who the NRSC, Karl Rove, and Mitch McConnell do NOT support.
Bridenstine has bucked leadership and gone his own way is my understanding of his record.
That might be a dream pick.
Lankford SEEMS like a good second.
I don’t know anything about the others.
I’m not gonna predict, but I’ll say... don’t be surprised if Governor Fallin endorses TW Shannon.
I know very little about OK politics..but I expect that Fallon stays out of it..that’s the smart course...why make enemies?
“Of course, the ultimate test will be who the NRSC, Karl Rove, and Mitch McConnell do NOT support.”
We should judge candidates based on their merits (which include experience and their deeds matching their words), not blacklist those who someone we distrust endorses. Remember, a stopped clock is right twice a day, and Rove and McConnell could support (and have supported) candidates in spite of such candidates’ principled conservatism because they think that it’s a good electoral choice. Rove and McConnell are in the business of winning elections, not losing them, so if they see a conservative as a winner they’ll back the conservative. (Their problem is that often they refuse to see conservatives as potential winners, but even they can recognize that Shannon is a budding megastar.)
Hasn’t Watts turned left? I’m not sure.
“Rove and McConnell are in the business of winning elections, not losing them, so if they see a conservative as a winner theyll back the conservative”
They are in the business of electing establishment Republicans, as is the NRSC.
Did McConnell back Rand Paul or Trey Grayson? Did the NRSC back Rubio or Crist? Cruz or Dewhurst? Is Rove backing conservatives over moderates? What was Rove’s track record in winning in 2012 with huge amounts of money at his disposal?
Shannon may be a good guy. I know nothing about him. But I do know that Bridenstine had the guts to vote against Boehner for Speaker. Where does Shannon stand on that? I know that the Senate Conservatives Fund, Madison Project, and Eric Erickson are urging Bridenstine to run, and for good reason. I know McConnell has declared war on Tea Party candidates and is using the NRSC to carry out that war.
If you don’t see a trend in the type of candidate backed by Rove, McConnell, and the NRSC, you haven’t been paying attention. If they back a conservative, it’s likely because they couldn’t get a squish to step up.
Well, you’re right that Rove and McConnell won’t support Bridenstine in the primary, but since it appears that Bridenstine won’t be running the question is academic.
If Lankford, Shannon and Bridenstine it is unlikely that any of them will get to 50%+1, thus necessitating a run-off. You’re obviously committed to Bridenstine, and will support him in the first round. But if there’s a Shannon-Lankford runoff, I would hope that you will analyze both candidates’ records and support the one whom you believe will do the best job in the Senate (electability shouldn’t be an issue with those two, and place the odds of winning the general at 99% for Shannon and 95% for Lankford), and not reflexively support the one who didn’t get the Rove or McConnell endorsement.
Ah, it appears that “Defenders of the GOPe Favorites” have begun appearing.
“if theres a Shannon-Lankford runoff, I would hope that you will analyze both candidates records and support the one whom you believe will do the best job in the Senate (electability shouldnt be an issue with those two, and place the odds of winning the general at 99% for Shannon and 95% for Lankford), and not reflexively support the one who didnt get the Rove or McConnell endorsement.”
I’m not an Okie, and don’t know Shannon and Lankford. I do contribute to various races through the Senate Conservatives Fund. I agree with your analysis that one shouldn’t blackball a candidate solely because Rove might back him. If you know enough about the candidate to know he is solidly conservative, by all means back him. It’s just that I’ve seen Rove, McConnell, et al. shove knives in the backs of conservatives so many times that when I see one of them endorse a candidate red lights go off.
So Speaker Shannon is a “GOPe Favorite”? LOL! Establishment folks will back him just as they will back anyone who would be an electoral powerhouse, but, believe me, he’s the real deal. Oh, but if by “GOPe” you mean anyone who has ever held elective office, then Speaker Shannon is guilty as charged, as is Congressman Bridenstine.
I will support whichever candidate will be most effective in achieving conservative victories for the American people. If someone less conservative than me supports the same candidate (and, believe me, not many are *more* conservative than me), I won’t spit on such person’s face, much less refuse to support someone with a proven record of championing conservative principles. I’m looking for candidates who will walk the walk, not simply talk the talk, so I am attracted by Speaker Shannon’s voting record and legislative leadership of the very conservative OK House, plus his unique ability to grow the conservative movement.
Do you really think that McConnell doesn’t care if the GOP retakes the Senate? That’s the *one* thing he cares about.
McConnell wants the GOP to win, as does Rove. While it is a fact that they have different ideas than we do about what kind of candidate can win (which is why he’s pissed at the Tea Party movement, which he blames for leading to GOP losses in several winnable Senate races), it is nonetheless true that sometimes the candidate with the most solid conservative record happens to be the one that they feel will have the easiest time winning (and will help the most with fundraising once elected).
Oh, and I “began appearing” on FR in 2002.
Yes, Bridenstein is the Tea Party conservative that defeated long time incumbent John Sullivan. He’s a freshman Rep but will take the seat
So, who do you like for Bridenstine’s seat, then??
"Sources tell The Hill Bridenstine may be leaning against a run after receiving some discouragement from local conservatives, while Shannon is now strongly considering the race."
If conservatives are skeptical of Lankford, there is probably good reason
Erickson is not the most popular guy around here
Attacking conservatives and undermining them is what they do best
Yeah, but the same ‘sources’ said Sullivam was not in trouble and would easily win re-election. The conservative anger here in OK is very strong.
Run Shannon run.
JC Watts is living happily ever after on his ranch in south central Oklahoma, which is a decision most of us support.
We'll vote for who we damn well please, thank you, and that goes almost as much for Tom Coburn's opinion too, at least so far as I'm concerned.
As for myself, I'm inclined to favor Shannon over Lankford, and hope for Bridenstein to stay out of it and keep his seat in the house. Shannon's the real deal.
The commu- excuse me, the Democrats would be salivating over that seat, they've been grooming their own answer to Nancy Pelosi in the State House, representing a district in central Tulsa that's overly infested with people of that ilk.
“So Speaker Shannon is a GOPe Favorite?...”
Didn’t Mama tell you that “assumption is the mother of all ‘foul’ ups”?
I didn’t say that Shannon was the GOPe favorite, as you well know. The GOPe favorite is, as you above all should know, Lankford.
That’s who ALL true conservatives want to defeat in the primary, correct?
So I write a post saying that Shannon is a conservative irrespective of who may endorse him, you write a reply accusing me of being a “defender of the GOPe,” and now you claim that you weren’t talking about Shannon, but about *Lankford* (whom I didn’t even mention)? Okey-dokey.
I want OK to elect the U.S. Senator whop would be most effective in advancing conservative principles. I happen to believe that T.W. Shannon would be that man, and if he runs, I will support him. If Bridenstine runs as well, and there’s a run-off between Bridenstine and Lankford, I’d support Bridenstine, but that’s highly speculative at this point.
And my point, which I guess I have to repeat, is that I don’t give a rat’s behind who Karl Rove or Mitch McConnell endorse, because I can think for myself, and will judge a candidate based on his record, not on who has endorsed him. Well, that’s not entirely true—I will consider who has endorsed him, but only as guidance, and not as something that trumps a candidate’s clear record. And, truth be told, as much as I dislike Rove’s brand of politics, Rove’s endorsement would not cause me as much revulsion as would an endorsement by that anti-Semitic, un-American L. Ron Paul, and even a Paul endorsement won’t deter me from voting for someone if he is a proven conservative and doesn’t appear to be a Paultard.
“So I write a post saying that Shannon is a conservative irrespective of who may endorse him, you write a reply accusing me of being a defender of the GOPe,...”
I wasn’t reacting to anything you wrote regarding Shannon...I was reacting to these words from your post in item 13:
“Rove and McConnell are in the business of winning elections, not losing them, so if they see a conservative as a winner theyll back the conservative.”
Given a choice between a RINO wannabe and a conservative candidate in a given primary, Rove and McConnell (along with the RNC) have a track record of usually choosing the RINO. IMHO, they choose the RINO because they expect him/her to “go along to get along” (and NOT make trouble for the GOPe rulers in DC) if they get to Washington.
And I truly believe that Rove and McConnell are more about their position, their power and their income than they are about winning elections. If they think that a man of integrity and principle such as Ted Cruz would not “cooperate” with them, they’ll support a RINO opponent—every time. And if there is a TRUE conservative (who may not “go along to get along”) in an election facing a Democrat, their support of that conservative will be tepid at best (e.g., Ken Cuccinelli).
I don’t disagree that it seems that Rove and McConnell prefer RINOs to conservatives when making endorsements, but at least in the case of McConnell (and probably in the case of Rove as well) I don’t think that he’d endorse someone whom he thought was less electable just because he was more liberal. And even if I’m wrong and the two prefer RINOs to conservatives to the exclusion of just about everything else, it is still possible that they’d endorse Shannon over the less conservative Lankford because it’s good for business to support a black conservative officeholder who will be going places irrespective of what happens in the Senate election.
Going back to my original point, the fact that Rove and McConnell endorse someone does not ipso facto make that candidate a RINO. We can determine for ourselves who is conservative and who isn’t based on their words and (most importantly) their deeds. I mean, you already know that Lankford isn’t a true conservative and Shannon and Bridenstine are, and no RINO has endorsed yet.
Is Lankford for legalization of illegals?