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Rep. James Lankford Announces He's Running For Coburn's Senate Seat

AP Photo / Sue Ogrocki

Lankford will run to finish the last two years of Coburn's term. Less than a week earlier, Coburn, who has been battling cancer, announced he would retire at the end of the current Congress.

Lankford is the fifth-ranking House Republican and chairs the House Republican Policy Committee. National Journal noted Monday that although he's an ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Lankford does not always vote with the top House Republican. In October, Lankford voted against ending the government shutdown (Boehner supported that proposal).

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has scheduled the special election to coincide with the 2014 midterm election.

Lankford made the announcement Monday as other prospective candidates opted out of running for Senate. Both Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) and Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) announced Sunday that they would not run for Coburn's seat.

Lankford, however, appears to face some opposition from prominent conservative outside groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth, which have both indicated that they would not support his candidacy.

About The Author


Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at