Rush is on for congressional seat being vacated by Oklahoma Republican Rep. James Lankford

Current and former elected officials are looking at race for the U.S. House district that includes most of Oklahoma County, along with Pottawatomie and Seminole counties.
by Chris Casteel Published: January 21, 2014

— Rep. James Lankford's decision to run for U.S. Senate has set off a scramble for the congressional seat he has held for three years.

State Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, is expected to run, and Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas, also an Edmond Republican, is eyeing the race.

Jolley, who was elected to a four-year term in 2012, could run without giving up his state Senate seat. Douglas would have to choose between running for Congress or another term on the commission.

At least two former state legislators are moving toward a campaign for Lankford's seat — Republicans Steve Russell, of Oklahoma City, and Shane Jett, of Tecumseh.

Jett finished fourth in the GOP primary in 2010, when Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, first won the 5th District seat.

Democrat Tom Guild, of Edmond, who lost in the primary in 2010 and to Lankford in 2012, is running for the seat again.

The district includes most of Oklahoma County, along with Seminole and Pottawatomie Counties.

Gov. Mary Fallin held the seat from 2007 to 2011; her decision to run for governor in 2010 created an open-seat rush that drew seven Republicans and two Democrats.

Lankford was a political novice when he ran and defeated a field of candidates that included two sitting legislators and one former state lawmaker. Lankford will be the second consecutive representative to give up the 5th District seat after two terms to run for higher office.

Filing for the seat begins April 9. The primary is June 24 and runoff primaries, if necessary, will be held Aug. 26. The general election is Nov. 4.


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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