Skip to comments.The Successor To Tom Coburn
Posted on 01/22/2014 3:46:05 AM PST by LD Jackson
We knew Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn would be retiring after his 2nd term in the United States Senate, but we really didn't expect him to cut that term short. That is exactly what he has done, announcing his early retirement at the end of 2014. Several reasons played into that decision, including his health and his desire to spend more time with his family. I suspect he has also tired of playing the games that are required in the Senate. Regardless of his reasons, it is now time to find a successor to Tom Coburn. While that may sound easy to do in the reddest of red states, don't count your chickens before the eggs are even laid in the nest.
You see, there is a battle brewing for the Senate seat now held by Coburn. Who knows if the Democrats will field a candidate or not, but there is considerable back and forth on whom Coburn's successor should be. The only announced candidate so far is James Lankford, Oklahoma's Representative for the 5th Congressional District. He has only been in the House of Representatives for three years, but he has already risen to the fifth ranking position in the House leadership. While that is quite an accomplishment, it also counts against him with some conservative groups. They are already accusing him of being willing to toe the establishment's party line. It is true that he has voted to increase the debt limit and government spending. That troubles me, somewhat, but it could be that he is just more pragmatic than some people.
Another candidate who is considering the race is Jim Bridenstine, who represents Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District. To give you a clue how he thinks, his first vote in the House of Representatives was to try to remove John Boehner from his position as Speaker of the House. No one will be able to accuse Bridenstine of toeing the party line.
The last possible candidate I want to mention is T.W. Shannon. He is currently the Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He is a member of the Chickasaw Nation and is the first black Speaker of the House in Oklahoma. I'll have to say, I like what I have seen from Shannon, thus far.
Bridenstine and Shannon are taking their time getting into the race to succeed Tom Coburn. The primary will be in June, with a possible runoff in August. At this time, James Lankford looks to be hard to beat. His fund-raising is already well established and that gives him a leg up in the race, no matter who decides to run. If you read the comments on the post I have quoted below, you will see how some of us in Oklahoma are thinking. I'm not even close to endorsing anyone yet, as the field of candidates hasn't even been established. Someone besides Lankford is almost certain to get into the race. It just seems to me that now may not be the time for Jim Bridenstine or T.W. Shannon to make this kind of move. Governor Shannon, anyone?
OK Politechs - I cannot recall in my lifetime a Congressman and Senator, from any state, who took the responsibility of his elected office more seriously that did Dr. Coburn. A citizen-legislator who sought to spend the peoples money wisely, responsibly and conservatively would most certainly face strong opposition from his own party, in addition to the Democrats. Fighting to keep his practice open and provide medical care to Oklahomans strongly demonstrates that he had no intention of doing what many politicians do and make a career of being elected. Even some of Oklahomas Congressional delegation are as guilty as sin of doing that. Frank 20 years Lucas comes to mind. Dr. Coburn set the bar so high I do not believe there will be another like him. His decision to leave the Senate has probably launched many parties in Congressional offices, celebrating his departure.Let me just echo what Charles Phipps has written. Someone has to fill the Senate seat being vacated by Tom Coburn. Whomever that is, I would suggest they gird up their loins, for the man they will follow is a giant among men, in my opinion. Tom Coburn is not a perfect man, but he took his responsibilities as a citizen legislator very seriously. We need to fill his seat with someone who is willing to do the same. Is that James Lankford? Or Jim Bridenstine? Maybe T.W. Shannon? At this time, who knows. We need to make sure we make the right choice, both for Oklahoma and the nation.
I have already read several articles speculating as to who might be throwing their names into the race. Rep. Tom Cole, Rep. James Lankford, Attorney General Scott Pruit and Rep. Jim Bridenstine have all been mentioned. Please, anybody but Tom RINO Cole. What will make the race interesting is that whoever runs for Dr. Coburns seat will have to give up their reelection to the House. This will definitely be an interesting race to watch.
Whoever Oklahomas next Senator may be, that person would do well to follow the many examples set by Dr. Tom Coburn. And they will have their work cut out for them. As an Oklahoman, a lawmaker and a private citizen, Dr. Coburn will be leaving some very, very large shoes to fill.
It would be nice to see Speaker Shannon elected. The R would have 2 black Senators and 0 blacks for ‘the party for blacks’.
Good article. That’s about the way I see it.
Shannon is a different breed of cat but, like Bridenstine, the timing may be wrong.
Coburn would have been far more impressive had he spent time in uniform. I really can’t understand why he didn’t. Bridenstine understands the basics of patriotism in that regard.
Lankford voted for the Murray-Ryan budget deal that raised taxes and cut military pensions.
I strongly suspect Lankford is the GOPe pick to replace Coburn.
I’m not at all sure Coburn’s lack of military service has a bearing on this conversation. I’m not aware of why he didn’t join the military, but it does not diminish his service.
Why are you comparing Bridenstine to the guy who’s on his way out?
Because Bridenstine had stones enough to raise his hand, take an oath & walk the walk.
You mean his legislative “service”. I am talking about being in the Service in the traditional sense of the word.
Not surprising; both Lankford and Ryan are bereft of any military experience themselves, being content to sit back and watch others serve. Apparently Lanford’s qualification to be a senator is that he ran a big summer camp for kids. Bridenstine has the perspective of somebody who has served in uniform and deployed somewhere.
Okay fine, but Tom Coburn’s on his way to becoming plain ol’ Tom Coburn again and Bridenstine ain’t going to be running against him. How is that (that is, Tom Coburn’s service record or lack of one) relevant to choosing who’s going to be in the office next?
Rodents elected Cory Booker in NJ (with an assist from Gov. Tubby), although he’s pretty light skinned.
I forgot that Booker is the NJ senator now.
Another leftist Presidential aspirant with no real accomplishments.
I think he has a bit more than Obama, at least he was mayor.
So was Jerry Brown.
In the last couple of election cycles, I haven’t seen a lot of love for James Lankford. Having attended Falls Creek (The Youth Camp which he once directed,) I think that Lankford is a worthy candidate. I know when he first ran for District 5, I was very much a supporter, and I really still am.
Seeing that some of us like Bridenstine though has piqued my curiosity. I checked a couple of sources (nothing very deep, just a cursory glance) and I didn’t find anything objectionable. I’m interested to see how this plays out.