Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford eyes leadership position in Congress

Just three years removed from running a Baptist youth camp, Rep. James Lankford, of Oklahoma City, appears to have locked down the fifth-ranking spot in the House Republican leadership.
by Chris Casteel Published: November 9, 2012
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Lankford, 44, has been a favorite of House Republican leaders since coming to Congress. In April of 2011, just four months after being sworn in to his first term, he was tapped to give the GOP response to Obama's weekly address.

He was the director of the Falls Creek youth camp and a political neophyte in 2009 when he began running for Congress and wound up knocking off two experienced and well-funded GOP primary candidates with a grass-roots campaign.

Lankford got 59 percent of the vote Tuesday in winning a second term in the district that includes most of Oklahoma County, Pottawatomie County and Seminole County.

Twenty years ago, another Oklahoma City Republican was chairman of his party's policy committee — former Rep. Mickey Edwards. Former Sen. Don Nickles, of Ponca City, was chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee for six years.

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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