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Former Gov. Frank Keating not leaning toward U.S. Senate race

by Chris Casteel Published: January 24, 2014

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating said Friday that he’s not leaning toward making a run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn.

Politico reported that Keating, a Republican who is now President and CEO of the American Bankers Association in Washington, was considering the race.

Keating, who turns 70 next month, told The Oklahoman, “I don’t need, nor do I want a new career.”

He said it takes at least ten years to gain seniority and influence in the Senate and that he was more interested in his work with non-profit and community groups. He said he plans to move to Oklahoma City in about two years to be close to his children.

Keating, who served as governor from 1995 to 2003, praised Rep. James Lankford, who has already gotten in the race for Coburn’s seat, and Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, who is expected to join the race soon. Lankford, of Oklahoma City, and Shannon, of Lawton, are both Republicans.

He said it was important for the state to elect someone who could address the nation’s challenges in a bipartisan way.

Before joining the bankers association, Keating was President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers in Washington.