Long list of Oklahoma Republicans look to replace retiring Senator Inhofe
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - One of the longest serving U.S. senators will soon retire, and there is a long line of Oklahoma politicians looking to replace him.
87-year-old Senator Jim Inhofe is ending his 28 year run in the U.S. Senate. Thirteen Republicans are fighting to get their name on the November general election ballot. One candidate will need 51 percent of the primary vote to secure the Republican nomination without a runoff election.
University of Oklahoma professor Tyler Johnson says the large field of candidates to
“Who’s got name recognition coming into this contest vs who has to find ways to build it,” Johnson said. “Who’s got money to bring to bear, either because they’ve raised it already, they’ve got connections.
The Republican National Committee says Republican voters this cycle are looking for candidates who can help with kitchen table issues.
“We’re seeing inflation numbers rise,” RNC Western Regional Communications Director Alex Kuehler said. “We’re seeing gas prices rise. To work, people are having trouble filling up their tank, just to get to work sometimes.”
The RNC points to recent Texas special election winner Mayra Flores for popular border policy
“She wants to build the wall. She wants to make sure that we secure our border. She wants to make sure that we have a legal process for immigration.”
Professor Johnson said, because of Oklahoma’s the political makeup, it is extremely unlikely Tuesday’s Republican primary winner will lose to a Democrat in the general election.
Johnson says that makes the primary the real race or to replace Inhofe.
“The old Kennard that you run to the right in the primary, and then you have to moderate yourself in the general election in order to win. That’s not something you need to do here, so I would guess we’re going to see someone who is in the mold of Inhofe.”
Johnson said current Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-OK, has the best chance to rise above 50 percent of the vote and avoid a runoff election
The RNC said, given the sheer size of the field, they do not expect a single candidate to earn more than half the vote. A runoff election would take place August 23.
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