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Wed June 25, 2014
Lankford Wins GOP Nod In U.S. Senate, Faces Dems Johnson Or Rogers, Independent Beard [CORRECTED]
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story did not credit KGOU News for their photos and independent reporting that appear in this story. We apologize for the error.
U.S. Rep. James Lankford has won the Republican nomination for Oklahoma's open U.S. Senate seat.
By capturing more than 50 percent of the vote Tuesday in the seven-man GOP primary field, Lankford avoids a runoff and faces the Democratic nominee and an independent in November.
The seat was open because U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn decided to forego the final two years left on his term amid a recurrence of cancer. The state's other senator, James Inhofe, also was on the ballot and easily won his GOP primary.
A two-term congressman and Baptist minister from Edmond, the 46-year-old Lankford faced a fierce challenge from tea party-backed T.W. Shannon. Shannon last year became both the youngest and the first African-American speaker of the House.
A state senator from Oklahoma City and a perennial candidate from Midwest City have advanced to a Democratic runoff in the race for Oklahoma's open U.S. Senate seat.
State Sen. Connie Johnson will face Jim Rogers in an Aug. 26 primary runoff to determine which Democrat advances to November's general election.
The 62-year-old Johnson has been a leading progressive voice in the Republican-controlled Senate, pushing for abortion rights and becoming a hero to the pro-marijuana movement for her efforts to ease restrictions on the drug.
But the 79-year-old Rogers has become a familiar name to Democrats in Oklahoma, since he has run for office every cycle during the last decade, including president and U.S. Senate.
Independent Mark T. Beard will also appear on the November ballot.