Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District, which contains the state’s largest metro area of Oklahoma City, will see two Republicans advance into an August 25th runoff election. Former Lt. Governor nominee Terry Neese placed first in the crowded field of nine candidates, topping state Sen. Stephanie Bice (R-Oklahoma City) by eleven percentage points. The eventual GOP nominee then challenges freshman Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Oklahoma City) in a race that becomes a Republican must-win.
Veteran Senator Jim Inhofe (R), who, at 85 years of age, is seeking a fifth full term, easily won his Republican primary last night with a 75% victory margin. His now-official Democratic challenger is former television report Abby Broyles, who easily became her party’s standard bearer last night. Sen. Inhofe is a heavy favorite for re-election in November.
On the other end of the voting law spectrum, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Oklahoma Democratic Party have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s absentee ballot law that requires an applicant to have their signature notarized. Earlier, the Oklahoma state Supreme Court ruled that the government document notarization law did not apply to absentee ballots, but the legislature quickly passed a new law specifically requiring notarization directly in response to the high court’s ruling.
Now, the plaintiffs have gone to federal court asking that the notarization requirement be eliminated, and then adding that the state should prepay all postage for mailed ballots, and that votes received up to a week after the election should be accepted and counted. Currently, Oklahoma law requires all absentee ballots to be received no later than Election Day.
The Oklahoma candidate filing deadline passed on April 10th, and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) has drawn three Republican and four Democratic opponents, but none seem to be top tier candidates. For the Democrats, the likely nominee appears to be former television reporter Abby Broyles, but Sen. Inhofe remains a heavy favorite to again win re-election in November.
When veteran Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) indicated that he would announce his future political plans in early March, most observers believed the 85-year old lawmaker would be announcing his retirement. Instead, it he declared yesterday that he will seek re-election.
Mr. Inhofe was first elected to the Senate in a 1994 special election. He previously served four terms in the US House, as Mayor of Tulsa, and in the Oklahoma Senate and House. Except for a four-year break in service, Mr. Inhofe has been in elective office since 1967.
In his announcement, the Senator said he is running again to “…protect Oklahoma from the radical, socialist agenda of the Democratic Party, to continue a relationship with President Donald Trump and to remain in charge of the Armed Services Committee.” Mr. Inhofe is the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman.
Yesterday, veteran Sen. Jim Inhofe (R), who is now 85 years of age, issued a statement saying that he will reveal his political plans on March 6th. He has not yet indicated whether or not he will seek a fifth full term later this year. The Oklahoma candidate filing deadline is April 10th for the June 30th state primary.
Sen. Inhofe was first elected in a 1994 special election. He then won full terms in 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014. Coming to the Senate after serving four terms in the House, Mr. Inhofe was also elected as Mayor of Tulsa and to stints in both the Oklahoma House and Senate. Except for a two-year hiatus from 1984 through 1986, Mr. Inhofe has served in elective office consecutively since 1967. If he decides to retire, we can expect to see a crowded field form for an open Republican Senate seat.
The overwhelming number of the intra-party challenges to sitting House incumbents lie on the Democratic side in this election cycle, but Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Westville/Muskogee), who broke his three-term limit pledge during the 2018 campaign, has drawn a competitive 2020 Republican challenger. State Sen. Joseph Silk (R-Broken Bow), a strong social issues conservative leader who reportedly does not get along with his party’s leadership in the legislature, announced that he will challenge the four-term Congressman next year.
In 2018, Rep. Mullin deflected a challenge from a less formidable series of candidates, 54-25-12-9%, which proved a weak performance for an incumbent in his own party. We can expect this new primary challenge to generate political fireworks.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has been doing very well in southern state polling, and the new Oklahoma Sooner Poll supports the stated trend. Looking closer at the survey methodology, however, tells us that this particular study is inconclusive. First, the sampling period is over a long ten-day span (7/17-27), and second, while 373 Oklahoma voters were sampled, only 152 individuals are registered Democrats. Both factors substantially decrease reliability.
Therefore, the ballot test projecting Mr. Biden with 26% support as compared to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) 12% means that only 40 respondents chose Biden and just 17 voiced support for his chief opponent. These numbers are clearly not high enough to form a credible statewide tabulation.
Veteran Sen. Jim Inhofe (R), who will turn 86 years old before he is sworn in for a fifth full term, filed a new committee with the Federal Election Commission to signal he will indeed seek re-election. Though the move does not constitute an official announcement of candidacy, it is clear that the Senator plans to be on the ballot once again in 2020. His re-election chances are strong.
One of the biggest 2018 upsets occurred in Oklahoma City, where upstart Democrat Kendra Horn unseated two-term Republican Congressman Steve Russell (R). Since OK-5 is one of the more reliable Republican districts that switched to the Democrats last year, we can expect this seat will be a top tier GOP conversion target for the entire election cycle.
Yesterday, state Senator Stephanie Bice (R-Oklahoma City) announced that she will challenge Rep. Horn. Ms. Bice chairs the Senate Finance Committee, so it is clear that she is an accomplished legislator who should be able to run a credible challenge campaign.
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