Freshman Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a Tulsa Republican aligned with the tea party, said Wednesday morning that he would not run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Coburn.
“Since Dr. Tom Coburn’s retirement announcement, I have been honored and overwhelmed by encouragement to succeed him as Oklahoma’s senator,’’ Bridenstine said in a statement.
“After giving this matter serious consideration and prayer, my family and I have decided I will not to run in the special election to complete Dr. Coburn’s term.
“I would like to thank my faithful supporters who have provided so much encouragement. Their extraordinary outpouring of support strengthens my resolve to continue our efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma City businessman Eric McCray have announced they would run for the Republican nomination for the seat.
Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon plans to enter the race Wednesday.