Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankford announces run for US Senate seat vacated by Tom Coburn

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Republican U.S. Rep. James Lankford says he'll run for the U.S. Senate seat left open by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn's resignation.

Lankford told The Associated Press of his plans Monday, days after Coburn said he will vacate his seat in December   with two years remaining on his term.

A longtime director of a youth summer camp, Lankford was a political unknown when he emerged from a crowded Republican primary field in 2010 to win the U.S. House seat. He won re-election in 2012 and was the only member of Oklahoma's House delegation to not face a GOP primary opponent that year.

Staff for fellow freshman Congressman Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, didn't rule out the possibility of a Senate run in a statement Monday.

"Congressman Jim Bridenstine said on Monday he is pleased to know that Dr. Coburn is not resigning strictly on health concerns. Bridenstine said he is honored by the number of people, statewide and nationally, encouraging him to run for the Senate seat, but he is not inclined to rush the decision," a Bridenstine spokesman said in a release.

On Sunday, Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cole said they wouldn't run.

The special election will coincide with the regular election 2014 election cycle.

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