Chris Casteel writing from Washington D.C. for The Oklahoman, has an interesting story today on the split between Oklahoma’s highly-respected former-Senator Tom Coburn and the two current Oklahoma Senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford.
Casteel begins: Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn on Wednesday endorsed Jarrin Jackson for his old U.S. House seat against incumbent Rep. Markwayne Mullin, but Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford responded quickly with endorsements of Mullin’s reelection bid.
Coburn, a Republican from Muskogee, said, “I am proud to endorse Jarrin Jackson, a combat veteran who understands and has fought for our Constitution. He will stand up for us in Washington and not go along to get along. He also will honor a six-year, self-imposed term limit.”
Jackson and Mullin will square off in the June 28 Republican primary in the 2nd District, which covers a large swath of eastern Oklahoma.
Coburn represented the 2nd District from 1995 to 2001, leaving to honor the six-year term limit pledge he had made in his first race.
Coburn made a two-term pledge when he ran for the Senate in 2004. He retired in early 2015, two years before the end of the second term.
In response, Mullin said Wednesday, “I respect Dr. Coburn’s sixteen years of service in Washington, D.C. and he has the right to support whoever he wants.”
Inhofe, R-Tulsa, who attended an event with Mullin on Wednesday in Tulsa, endorsed him, saying,
“I have served with many members of Congress during my years in the Senate, but few have shown the consistent devotion to conservative values that I have seen from Markwayne Mullin.”
Casteel also notes: Coburn this week also endorsed incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, who made a term limit pledge in 2012 and is running for his third and final term in the 1st District. Bridenstine is being challenged by Tulsa oil company owner Tom Atkinson.
Tulsa Today will provide additional coverage and analysis of these and other primary races in coming days.