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Who is going to run for Sen. Jim Inhofe's position?

Reactions mixed across party lines as Senate passes tax plan
Posted at 10:56 AM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 14:40:55-04

TULSA, Okla. — Sen. Jim Inhofe announced he's resigning and expected to leave his U.S. Senate seat toward the end of 2022 after decades spent representing Oklahoma in Washington, D.C.

Many are questioning who will take over his position after he officially announces his resignation. Inhofe has previously announced after his reelection in 2020 that this would be his last term.

Who is officially running?

State Senator Nathan Dahm

Dahm previously stated he was running for the Senate seat last year against current Sen. James Lankford.

Dahn grew up in Broken Arrow. He was elected for the State Senate to represent and serve the 33rd District in 2012. Dahm has been ranked the most conservative senator in Oklahoma.

Dahm announced he is now pursuing Inhofe's newly-opened seat in a Facebook post on Feb. 28.

Luke Holland

In an interview with The Oklahoman, Inhofe endorsed his chief of staff, Luke Holland, to replace him. Inhofe said he was the "most qualified" to carry on his legacy.

Holland is a fourth-generation Oklahoman. He grew up and attended school in Bartlesville. He later attended the University of Arkansas where he earned a degree in finance from the Walton School of Business.

Holland officially announced he is running for the U.S. Senate and accepted Inhofe's endorsement on Feb. 25.

Congressman Markwayne Mullin

A day after Inhofe's retirement announcement, Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin announced he would be running for the U.S. Senate.

He was raised and attended school in Stilwell. He attended Missouri Valley College before coming back home to take over the Mullin Plumbing family business.

Mullin was elected to Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District in November 2012. He is currently serving his fifth term in office.

T.W. Shannon

The former speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives announced on March 10 he'd be running for Inhofe's seat.

Shannon is a Lawton native who first was elected to the Oklahoma State House in 2006. He became the Speaker of the House in 2013 before stepping down a year later for an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate.

Kendra Horn

The former United States congresswoman officially filed to run for the open Senate seat. She is the first Democrat to file to run.

Scott Pruitt

Former state Attorney General and head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Scott Pruitt is running for the position.

He served as Oklahoma's Attorney General for 6 years, from 2011 to 2017. He was later chosen by former Pres. Donald Trump to run the EPA.

Who is rumored to run?

It is expected that more candidates will announce their campaigns in the coming days and weeks after Inhofe's announcement.

Speculation over who could announce next is coming out through social media and various news sources.

Some of the names jumping out in the conversations are:

  • New York Times said current lieutenant governer, Matt Pinnell was a potential candidate who could run. However, Pinnell has since said he's not running.
  • CNN listed many possibilities including current U.S. Congressman Kevin Hern and Oklahoma attorney general candidate Gentner Drummond could make an announcement to run.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum released a statement Monday saying he will not be a candidate for anything in 2022.

“It’s been really incredible to hear from people since Senator Inhofe’s announcement last week, folks who’ve encouraged me to seek that seat. My wife and I have spent several days thinking and praying about it, and that process just reminded us that my purpose in life right now is to be the best husband, dad, and mayor that I can be. And being off running for another job, let alone winning and going off to D.C., it doesn’t serve any of those things.

I will not be a candidate for anything in 2022. We’ve got so much to do in the time that I have left as mayor. I have limited myself to two terms as mayor, and I’m going to spend that time focused on the job that folks already gave me.”

At this time, a Democrat candidate has not been announced if they are running for the position.

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