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New Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Tulsa Refuses to Back Boehner for Speaker

by Chris Casteel Published: January 3, 2013

Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a Tulsa Republican sworn in for his first term on Thursday, refused to vote for House Speaker John Boehner. He voted for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor instead.
Bridenstine said in an interview before the vote that he would have trouble voting for Boehner, in large part because of the debt ceiling deal struck in 2011.

Jim Bridenstine
Jim Bridenstine

“The challenge is no one is running against (Boehner)” for speaker, Bridenstine told the Oklahoman. “So what does a guy like me do?”

What he did was vote for the second ranking Republican in the House _ Cantor, of Virginia _ who has split with Boehner on some issues, including this week’s fiscal cliff deal.

Bridenstine had strong Tea Party backing in his upset primary victory against former Rep. John Sullivan. Bridenstine was selected to serve on the House Armed Services Committee, a position that other Oklahomans had to struggle to get for him. Whether he retains that position could be an interesting question now.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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