Cole won't seek Coburn's seat
January 19th, 2014
11:04 PM ET
6 months ago

Cole won't seek Coburn's seat

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Tom Cole, thought of as a likely choice to seek retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn's Senate seat, took himself out of consideration Sunday evening.

Coburn announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of the current congressional session, ending his six-year term two years early.


In a statement, Cole said he will stay out of the race.

"I have decided not to run for the U.S. Senate in 2014," the Oklahoma congressman said.

Though "flattered" by the growing speculation he would throw his hat into the ring, Cole said he felt he could do more good for Oklahomans in the House than in the Senate.

"My role as a Deputy Whip in the Republican Conference makes me much more valuable to Oklahoma and the Fourth District in the House than I could be as a freshman U.S. Senator," he added.

Despite his decision to forgo a run for a place in the upper chamber, Cole expressed confidence Republicans from his home state would find a worthy successor to Coburn.

Like Cole, that successor will not be current Oklahoma attorney General Scott Pruitt.

Pruitt, a former state senator who launched a failed bid for Oklahoma's lieutenant governor slot in 2006, cited similar reasons for not seeking Coburn's seat in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

"At present, my choice is clear," Pruitt said. "It is serving as Oklahoma's Attorney General, where I can continue to lead the fight for the preservation of our freedoms and constitutional system."

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin's office said Friday that a special election will be scheduled to coincide with this year's midterm elections. The decision means potential candidates must file by April, setting the stage for a June primary fight, and, if necessary, an August runoff.


Filed under: Tom Coburn
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. davefrompalmsprings

    That's too bad. I think Tom Cole is an honest man and a good politician. The Senate needs a lot of Republicans like him, but I can understand his decision to stay in the House.

    January 19, 2014 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  2. Jonathon Powelly

    is this guy even breathing?

    January 20, 2014 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  3. The right wing have lost their damned minds

    Would be better if they get a Democrat to bring them into the 21st century...That state is backwards too.

    January 20, 2014 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  4. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Another "rare" Guns Over People tea potty moderate forced out. Can't wait to see the GOBP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea potty's throats 2012 Mitt the twit style.

    January 20, 2014 04:49 am at 4:49 am |
  5. just asking

    any democrat running for his seat needs to support the repeal of obamacare. if they don't then they don't deserve your vote. i'm sure the republicans will put up a good candidate and keep the seat. the democrat party of lies and deceit is on its way out.

    January 20, 2014 05:03 am at 5:03 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    These guys from GOP know they messed this Entire nation–even if they run they will never win for another fifty years. That that extent they made a mess–big mess, I mean. Well, it is Bush.

    January 20, 2014 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  7. current state of the union

    Translated, I can do more damage to our voting system where I'm at. People, just do whatever it takes to get your vote in, they are going to find a way to control the vote, if they don't their done. Their worst nightmare come true, a real voter turnout, that spells doom for the gop.

    January 20, 2014 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  8. current state of the union

    The Koch brothers paid them to stay where their at, they have a great need for judges if they are to control the vote. Never has it been more important to vote this year, the gop will rewrite the constitution if need be, to stay in power.

    January 20, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "My role as a Deputy Whip in the Republican Conference makes me much more valuable to Oklahoma and the Fourth District in the House than I could be as a freshman U.S. Senator," he added.
    ----------------------------------–
    I am forced to agree with this statement. Don't agree with most of his politics, but I am forced to acknowledged that he can do far more damage in the House.

    January 20, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Larry in Houston

    ""Cole said he felt he could do more good for Oklahomans in the House than in the Senate""

    Answer :
    That's because he is gambling on the house retaining their majority, is all that's about.

    January 20, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |