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 The Oklahoman has had a full-time bureau for more than 70 years. While there, Casteel has covered Oklahoma people and issues in Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and federal agencies and courts in the Washington area. He reported on the Anita Hill hearings, the impeachment and trial of former President Bill Clinton, the federal investigation of former state Sen. Gene Stipe and numerous elections. He has been to 11 national political conventions and five presidential inaugurations.


  • Congressional hopefuls Al McAffrey, Steve Russell, talk Islamic State, U.S. military future

    By Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau | Published: Sun, Oct 19, 2014

    Q&A: Al McAffrey and Steve Russell — With foreign policy front and center as election nears, both major party candidates seeking to replace U.S. Rep. James Lankford in Congress agree the United States must play major role in fighting Islamic State.

  • Oklahoma Republican Steve Russell's fundraising in race to fill Lankford's seat gains steam

    By Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau | Published: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    Heavily outspent by Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas before winning the 5th District congressional run-off, Oklahoma Republican Steve Russell now has more political action committee support. Democrat Al McAffrey had a small balance when October began.

  • Rep. Markwayne Mullin fixes campaign report glitch

    Chris Casteel | Updated: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    Freshman Rep. Markwayne Mullin filed an amended campaign finance report Thursday afternoon after a software glitch led many of the contribution and expenditure numbers to be erroneously inflated. A report filed by Mullin’s campaign on Wednesday, covering the period from July 1 through September 30, showed donations that were well above the legal limit. It […]

  • Inhofe, Fallin point fingers as Ebola scare turns political

    Chris Casteel | Published: Thu, Oct 16, 2014

    Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, criticized the White House on Thursday as the national scare over Ebola began to take a political turn. Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called for a travel ban from West African countries that have had thousands of Ebola-infected patients and […]

  • Obama administration awards $10 million to Oklahoma City nonprofit group

    Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau | Updated: Tue, Oct 14, 2014

    It’s My Community Initiative, which focuses on helping low-income kids in northeast Oklahoma City, got a $10 million grant for helping long-term unemployed workers.

  • Falls Creek runs deep: Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford's first campaign relied on faith, connections

    By Chris Casteel -- Washington Bureau | Updated: Sun, Oct 12, 2014

    WASHINGTON — For many, it appeared that James Lankford had come out of nowhere when he laid waste to a field of Republican primary candidates in 2010 and claimed Oklahoma City's congressional seat. He looked like Opie — but spoke with a mismatched deep bass voice — and had no political experience or money to pay consultants. But the truth was that a lot of people knew exactly where Lankford had come from, and it wasn't nowhere. It was southern Okla homa's Falls Creek, the largest youth camp in the United States, where Lankford, the director, was a rock star among 50,000 Baptist kids each summer. “If you got your picture taken with James Lankford, it made your day,'' said one former Falls Creek camper now

  • U.S. Supreme Court rejects final appeal of Oklahoma death row inmate

    By Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau | Published: Wed, Oct 8, 2014

    Oklahoma death row inmate Benjamin Cole, convicted in the 2002 killing of his infant daughter, is now expected to get an execution date.

  • Same-sex couples and the front page of The Oklahoman

    Chris Casteel | Published: Tue, Oct 7, 2014

    This morning, looking at the front page of The Oklahoman and the picture of the same-sex couple getting a marriage license in Oklahoma County I thought of a front page from The Sunday Oklahoman in the spring of 1983, when I was working in the Norman bureau of The Oklahoman and Times.   I didn’t […]

  • Same-sex marriage now is legal in Oklahoma

    BY CHRIS CASTEEL, Washington Bureau | Updated: Mon, Oct 6, 2014

    Oklahoma couples began to marry after a surprise move by the U.S. Supreme Court not to take on the issue of whether states can ban same-sex marriage.

  • High court rejects Oklahoma, other same-sex marriage cases

    Chris Casteel | Updated: Mon, Oct 6, 2014

    WASHINGTON _ The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review same-sex marriage cases from Oklahoma, Utah and three other states, possibly paving the way for marriages to begin immediately in those states and many others. Without comment, the justices left intact decisions from federal appeals courts striking down same-sex marriage bans. The 10th U.S. […]

  • D.C. Notes: Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole says cost of new war uncertain

    By Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau | Published: Sun, Oct 5, 2014

    Chris Casteel: U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, says funding for operations against Islamic State will depend on overall strategy; also in Washington notes, a U.S. Senate debate on Tuesday and same-sex marriage signal possible.

  • U.S. Supreme Court to hear Tulsa head scarf case

    By Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau | Published: Thu, Oct 2, 2014

    Supreme Court Justices will determine whether clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch discriminated against a Tulsa teen who was rejected for a job after wearing her hijab to the interview.

  • Oklahoma prevails in federal lawsuit against Obamacare subsidies

    By Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau | Published: Wed, Oct 1, 2014

    Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt hails victory from federal judge in Muskogee in lawsuit that could end taxpayer subsidies for Oklahomans buying health insurance from exchange.

  • Federal judge sides with Pruitt in Obamacare lawsuit

    Chris Casteel | Updated: Tue, Sep 30, 2014

    A U.S. district judge in Muskogee has sided with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt against the U.S. government in the state’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. Pruitt’s suit, like similar ones in other states and the District of Columbia, claimed the IRS improperly allowed subsidies for insurance coverage purchased in states that have health […]

  • Same-sex marriage in Oklahoma: Really soon, next summer or never?

    By Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau | Published: Sun, Sep 28, 2014

    U.S. Supreme Court justices are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss whether to review Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage case or cases from other states.

  • Rep. Tom Cole comments on beheading in Moore

    Chris Casteel | Published: Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, expressed sympathy on Saturday for the victims of the horrific attack at Vaughan Foods in his home town and  urged people to reserve judgment as the investigation continues. In a statement, Cole said, “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this brutal crime as well as their families, […]

  • Democrat makes bid to oust Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe

    By Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau | Updated: Fri, Sep 26, 2014

    Tulsa native and Oklahoma political newcomer Matt Silverstein labels Sen. Jim Inhofe a big spender and questions his support for Israel in his campaign.

  • Oklahoma lawmakers in U.S. Congress react to air strikes against Islamic State militants

    By Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau | Published: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, of Tulsa, and Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, share reactions after the U.S. began air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria.

  • Medal of Honor recipient, family members go to Capitol

    Chris Casteel | Published: Wed, Sep 17, 2014

    Medal of Honor recipient Bennie G. Adkins and the siblings of Medal of Honor of recipient Donald P. Sloat attended a White House ceremony on Monday and a Pentagon ceremony on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they were on Capitol Hill, meeting congressional leaders. President Barack Obama awarded the medals on Monday. Adkins and Sloat hailed from […]

  • President Barack Obama awards Medal of Honor to two Oklahoma men who fought in Vietnam

    By Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau | Published: Mon, Sep 15, 2014

    At a White House ceremony, President Barack Obama told the stories of bravery and sacrifice of Oklahoma men Donald P. Sloat and Bennie G. Adkins and awarded the nation’s highest military honor.