Lankford wins GOP primary in race for US Senate seat


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — U.S. Sen. James Lankford won the GOP primary on Tuesday in his re-election bid for another six-year term in the U.S. Senate.

Lankford, 54, beat Tulsa pastor Jackson Lahmeyer, 30, and Joan Farr, 67, of Broken Arrow and will be a heavy favorite to defeat the winner of the Democratic primary in the November general election.

FOLLOW LIVE: 2022 Oklahoma primary election

Lahmeyer, a political newcomer backed by ex-President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, accused Lankford of not being conservative enough and criticized him for not endorsing the false claims of Trump regarding the outcome of the 2020 election.

On the Democratic side, Oklahoma City attorney Jason Bollinger, 30, and cybersecurity expert Madison Horn, 33, are the only candidates in a six-person field to raise big money, according to the latest. campaign finance reports.

Lankford will face the winner of Tuesday’s six-party Democratic primary in November, alongside libertarian Kenneth Blevins and independent Michael Delaney.

A former Baptist minister, Lankford was a longtime director of Falls Creek, the nation’s largest Christian youth camp, before winning a U.S. House seat in the Oklahoma City area in 2010. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014 to serve the unexpired term. of former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, who resigned that year due to ill health. Lankford was re-elected to a full term in 2016 with nearly 68% of the vote.

In Oklahoma’s other U.S. Senate race, to replace retired U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, a mainstay of Oklahoma GOP politics since the 1960s, 13 Republican candidates are vying to become the new US senator from Oklahoma. Among the challengers is U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin, 44, whose entry into the race left open his 2nd congressional district that covers most of eastern Oklahoma.

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Other GOP candidates include State Sen. Nathan Dahm, 39; Luke Holland, 35, longtime Inhofe chief of staff; former Attorney General and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, 54; and former Oklahoma House Speaker TW Shannon, 44. With so many candidates in the race, the first two voters will advance to a second round in August if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote.

There appears to be little difference between the Republican candidates in the two races on key issues, as all have expressed frustration with President Joe Biden’s administration, their opposition to gun restrictions and their support for the recent US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to ban abortion. The winners of the two GOP primaries will be heavily favored to win the fall seat in dark red Oklahoma, which has not elected a Democrat to a U.S. Senate seat in more than three decades. A Democrat hasn’t won a statewide race in Oklahoma since 2006.

The winner of the race for Inhofe’s seat will face Democrat and former U.S. Representative Kendra Horn, 46, who is unrelated to Madison Horn, as well as a Libertarian and an Independent, in November’s general election.


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