Congressman James Lankford easily defeated six other candidates to win the Republican nomination in Tuesday's U.S. Senate race, advancing him to the November general election.
Congressman James Lankford easily defeated six other candidates to win the Republican nomination in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate race, advancing him to the November general election.
Lankford, from a victory party in Oklahoma City, told supporters he was turning the page to November and said, "Our campaign’s positive message of conservative principles and stronger oversight of the federal government worked."
This year’s election is the first time in modern history that both of Oklahoma’s U.S. Senate seats were on the ballot at the same time, a necessity after U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn announced he was foregoing his final two years in office due to health reasons.
Lankford, a two-term U.S. Representative, garnered more than 50 percent of the vote necessary to win the GOP nomination for Coburn’s seat, easily defeating the other candidates, including former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon.
“We have said all along — the other six folks in this race are not our opponent. (U.S. Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid is our opponent,” Lankford, 46, told supporters at a watch party in Oklahoma City. “I have not written off our nation. We have been through difficult times before. We can resolve this.”
Social media reports also indicated Lankford spoke about getting the economy back on track.
Lankford thanked his supporters and said they are moving closer to carrying on Coburn’s conservative legacy in the Senate.
Lankford also overwhelmingly won voter approval in Pottawatomie County, taking 71.3 percent of the vote here. While he advances to November’s ballot, that wasn’t the case for the Democratic primary as a run-off is needed in that race between Connie Johnson and Jim Rogers.
The winners of that run-off, along with an Independent candidate, will face Lankford Nov. 4.
In the other U.S. Senate race, longtime Incumbent Jim Inhofe easily defeated four other challengers to take the GOP nomination in that race. Inhofe now advances to November to face Democratic opponent Matt Silverstein, as well as two Independent candidates.
In the race for District 5 U.S. Representative, a run-off will be needed in August for both the Republican and Democratic nominations.
For the Democratic race, a run-off is needed between Tom Guild and Al McAffrey.
On the Republican side, a run-off is needed between Patrice Douglas and Steve Russell.
Nominees from each party will then advance to face a pool of three Independent candidates in November.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.