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Former Trump EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Files for Oklahoma Senate


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Scott Pruitt, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency during part of the Trump administration, has filed for the Oklahoma Senate.

Pruitt filed paperwork as a Republican this week to run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Sen. Jim Inhofe.

In this file photo from May 16, 2018, then-Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appears before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and related budget agencies on Capitol Hill in Washington.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

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Fruit resigned from Trump’s EPA in July 2018 amid a series of controversies that included alleged ethics violations and controversial travel spending and ties to lobbyists.

Pruitt told The Associated Press on Friday that he “leads with conviction in Washington, D.C.” and called the criticism against him stemming from running an agency that was the “holy grail of the American left.”

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., arrives for the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., arrives for the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations (Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“And I made a difference to that,” said Pruitt, who prioritized dismantling several Obama-era regulations during his time at the EPA. “I think Oklahomans know when the New York Times, CNN and MSNBC and those places are against you, Oklahomans are for you.”

When Pruitt resigned from his position at the EPA, President Trump then praised the “exceptional job” that Pruitt had done.

“I will always be grateful to him for that,” Trump said.

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Democrats welcomed the news of Pruitt’s resignation with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders calling him “the worst EPA administrator in the agency’s history” and Delaware Sen. Tom Carper saying that “History will not be favorable at this time”.

Pruitt will face a crowded GOP primary field seeking to replace Inhofe, 87, who rocked Oklahoma politics with his announcement that he would step down in January, just two years into his six-term years. Ten Republican candidates have filed for the seat, including U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin, former Oklahoma House Speaker TW Shannon, longtime Inhofe chief of staff Luke Holland, State Senator Nathan Dahm and Alex Gray, former National Security Council chief of staff under Trump.

“As I watch the race, all the good people,” Pruitt told reporters in the Oklahoma state capitol after filing paperwork on Friday, according to the Oklahoman. “And I’ll tell you, from my perspective, I’m offering the experiences that I’ve had in (former President Donald Trump’s) cabinet, as Attorney General, making a difference on behalf of these issues that matter to Oklahomans today and I think matter to this country. And other candidates have their experiences, and they’re going to offer their experiences.

Pruitt served as Oklahoma’s attorney general from 2011 to 2017 and sued the environmental protection agency several times during his tenure.

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on June 2, 2017.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on June 2, 2017.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Former U.S. Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn was the only Democrat to file for the seat early Friday afternoon, the last day of the three-day nomination period.

Due to Inhofe’s announcement, Oklahoma’s two US Senate seats are up for grabs this cycle. Current US Senator James Lankford is seeking another six-year term. Lankford will face Tulsa pastor Jackson Lahmeyer in the GOP primary. Four Democrats, a Libertarian and an Independent also filed this week to run for the job.

Pruitt did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

Associated Press contributed to this report


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