Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford to run for Senate; Cole and Pruitt bow out

Sources say Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas and state Sen. Clark Jolley are ready to seek Lankford's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
by Chris Casteel Published: January 19, 2014

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt also bowed out of the race.

“Perhaps there will be a day in the future when the need for my service and leadership shifts elsewhere,'' Pruitt said. “Then, it will be time to alter my focus but that time is not now.”

Coburn, R-Muskogee, announced Thursday night that he will resign after the current congressional session, foregoing the final two years of his term.

Gov. Mary Fallin has announced that the special election for the last two years of Coburn's term will run parallel to already scheduled elections.

That means candidates will have to run a statewide campaign on a very compressed time frame; the primary is only about six months away, on June 24.

Douglas, whose seat on the Corporation Commission is on the ballot this year, must choose between running for re-election or running for Lankford's seat.

Douglas said Sunday that she is “going to consider the opportunity” to run for Lankford's seat. She said she and her husband and children were “huddled as a family” and were talking and praying about it.

Jolley was re-elected last year and would not have to give up his Senate seat to run for Lankford's House seat.

Jolley said Sunday, “Congressman Lankford has been a fantastic member of the U.S. House and I think he would be an outstanding senator. My family and I are talking about the unique opportunity such a race would present.”

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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