Top Boehner Ally Rep. Cole Won’t Run For Senate

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), has decided against a run for Senate.

Cole made the announcement about the race to succeed outgoing Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) on Sunday evening. He said his seniority and position as deputy majority whip make him a better fit to stay in the House than serve in the Senate.

“My seniority, my membership on three major committees, my position as a subcommittee chairman on the Appropriations Committee and my role as a Deputy Whip in the Republican Conference make me much more valuable to Oklahoma and the Fourth District in the House than I could be as a freshman U.S. Senator,” Cole said.

Besides Cole, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) also announced Sunday that he would not run for Senate.

Read Cole’s statement below:

Since Senator Tom Coburn announced last week that he will retire before the end of his second term, there has been a great deal of speculation about which Republicans might run for the seat. I am very flattered to be among those mentioned, as any Oklahoma Republican would be honored to succeed someone as distinguished as Tom Coburn.

After considerable thought, however, I have decided not to run for the U.S. Senate in 2014. My seniority, my membership on three major committees, my position as a subcommittee chairman on the Appropriations Committee and my role as a Deputy Whip in the Republican Conference make me much more valuable to Oklahoma and the Fourth District in the House than I could be as a freshman U.S. Senator.

I am certain that many worthy Republicans will seek Senator Coburn’s seat. In the days ahead, I look forward helping nominate and elect another well-qualified conservative, who will represent Oklahoma in the United States Senate with the same integrity and distinction that Senator Coburn has exhibited throughout his illustrious career.

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