WASHINGTON — 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.