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Oklahoma Republican candidates rush to run for U.S. House

Three Oklahoma Republicans quickly announced their intentions to run for U.S. House following Rep. James Lankford's announcement that he will run for the Senate.
by Randy Ellis Modified: January 21, 2014 at 6:36 pm •  Published: January 22, 2014

Three Oklahoma Republicans quickly announced their intentions to run for U.S. Congress following U.S. Rep. James Lankford's announcement Monday that he will run for the Senate.

Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas, former state Sen. Steve Russell and former state Rep. Shane Jett all announced they will seek the 5th District congressional seat that Lankford will be leaving.

Democrat Tom Guild, who was defeated by Lankford in 2012, previously announced he also will be a candidate.

Former Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth, D-Oklahoma City, and state Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, both confirmed to The Oklahoman they are among others considering the race.

The 5th District includes most of Oklahoma County, and Pottawatomie and Seminole counties.

Patrice Douglas

Douglas, 51, announced her candidacy at a news conference at Oklahoma Christian University, saying she wants to take “business sense to Washington.”

“As a mom, I want to go and exemplify family values and the values that we have here in Oklahoma,” said Douglas, R-Edmond. “As a former mayor and banker, I want to continue to push back against federal intervention in how the state … governs itself.”

Douglas, an attorney, previously served as mayor of Edmond.

“As a business leader and a banker, I have seen unlimited spending and debt that is just spiraling out of control,” Douglas said. “If I had run my dad's company the way the federal government is running itself right now, I would have been out of business. If I had run my bank the way that we are seeing the country being run, my bank would have been shut down by the same federal government that's spending all the money.”

Steve Russell

I'm committed. Hands on the plow, I'm looking on the horizon,” Russell, R-Oklahoma City, said of his decision to enter the race.

Russell, 50, is a former state senator and U.S. Army war veteran. He helped track down and capture Saddam Hussein, and wrote a book about it called “We Got Him!: A Memoir of the Hunt and Capture of Saddam Hussein.”

“Our country's in peril. I don't want to look back on my life and say, ‘Was there something I could have done to help our country?'” he said. “I think we have to bring a wake-up call to Americans.

“The No. 1 threat to our national security right now is our debt,” he said.

Russell said he thinks he can provide the leadership that is needed.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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