House Minority Leader Scott Inman has dropped out of the gubernatorial race and resigned from the Legislature, effective January 2018.
In a Facebook post, Inman says he is disappointed and writes that his roles and responsibilities "did not come without a price." He also asks for "your understanding, your prayers, and privacy during this time."
The state representative has served Del City since 2006 and acted as Minority Leader since 2010.
Inman is the eighth lawmaker to resign or announce his resignation since November. The other seven include:
- Rep. Tom Newell (R-Seminole), who resigned in November to take a job in the private sector, just weeks after winning reelection.
- Rep. Dan Kirby (R-Tulsa), who resigned in February following allegations of sexual harassment.
- Rep. Scott Martin (R-Norman), who announced his resignation in March, effective at the end of the session. He took a post with the Norman Chamber of Commerce.
- Sen. Ralph Shortey (R-Oklahoma City), who resigned in March after being charged with engaging in child prostitution. He's since been indicted on federal charges.
- Sen. Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City), who resigned amid an ethics probe in April.
- Sen. Dan Newberry (R-Tulsa), who announced his resignation in June to pursue a private sector promotion. His resignation won't be effective until January 31, 2018.
- Sen. Bryce Marlatt (R-Woodward), who resigned in September after being charged with the sexual battery of an Uber driver.
Along with the April death of Rep. David Brumbaugh, that adds up to nine House and Senate seats that have been or will need to be filled through special elections in 2017.
Governor Mary Fallin will have to set a date for a special election to replace Inman. The cost for special elections in Oklahoma this year could be as much as $288,000.
With Inman dropping out of the gubernatorial race, Democratic candidates now come down to two: former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson and former state Sen. Connie Johnson.
Meanwhile, there are several Republican candidates, including Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, Lt Gov Todd Lamb, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones, Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson, former state Rep. Dan Fisher, and businessman Kevin Stitt.
Governor Fallin is term-limited and cannot run again. The election will take place in November of 2018.