Rising GOP star announces Senate bid
January 29th, 2014
02:41 PM ET
7 months ago

Rising GOP star announces Senate bid

(CNN) – One's in and one's out.

Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon officially announced his bid Wednesday for the U.S. Senate seat in his state that's opening up due to Sen. Tom Coburn's early retirement.

Shannon, an African-American who's starting to build a national profile and is considered a rising star in the GOP, made his announcement with statements on Twitter and his website before holding multiple campaign kickoff events.

"It's official: Today I announced my intention to run for the United States Senate," Shannon said in a statement.

"During my time in office, I have been able to help cut taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars, eliminate many millions in waste and duplication, and fundamentally reform our worker's compensation system, saving Oklahoma businesses over one hundred million dollars a year in premium costs," Shannon added.

Minutes before Shannon jumped in, Rep. Jim Bridenstine stayed out. Two lesser known Republicans are also running.

"Since Dr. Tom Coburn's retirement announcement, I have been honored and overwhelmed by encouragement to succeed him as Oklahoma's senator," Bridenstine said in a statement. "After giving this matter serious consideration and prayer, my family and I have decided I will not to run in the special election to complete Dr. Coburn's term."

Coburn announced two weeks ago that he will retire at the end of the current congressional session, ending his second six-year term two years early. The 65-year-old Republican Senator has been battling cancer, but said in a statement that his decision to step down at the end of this year "isn't about my health, my prognosis, or even by hopes and desires."

Last week GOP Rep. James Lankford announced his candidacy. Three other Oklahoma Republicans, six-term Rep. Tom Cole, state Attorney General Scott Pruitt, and former Gov. Frank Keating all have passed on Senate bids.

With Oklahoma considered a firmly red state, the winner of the GOP June primary (and an August runoff if needed) will be considered the favorite to win November's special election, which will coincide with the already scheduled midterm elections. The state's other U.S. Senator, Republican James Inhofe, as well as Mary Fallin, the state's GOP Governor, are both up for re-election in November.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN Political Director Mark Preston contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2014 • Oklahoma • Tom Coburn
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Marcus (from...?)

    @ smith – I would like to respond but I don't understand dumb.

    You just proved my point, amigo.

    PS: 'I am going to throw the proverbial bucket of water on your face and let you know that not everyone thinks like a liberal. This country actually, statistically speaking, has more people that identify themselves as conservatives compared to liberals (it's actually twice as much).'
    According to Pew research Center you are SOOOOOOO wrong, bvut that's expected.

    January 29, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Silence DoGood

    @TonyD " the Democrat Party has used and enslaved them for decades"
    rrrrrrriiight. Not only does fly in the face of what's-it-called reality, but consider the trend in frothing conservatives rants:
    – Obama / dems favor blacks and play the race card AND have enslaved them
    – Obama is an empty suit do-nothing AND a dictator
    – Tell women what to do and who to marry and require medical procedures AND we want them to be free
    No wonder conservative rants sound like random noise.

    January 29, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Marcus (from...?)

    @ tom l.
    You really want to put the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in discussion?
    "I know the risks are great and we might lose the South, but those sorts of states may be lost anyway." LBJ

    January 29, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    tom l wrote:

    ... ...Please look at the Civil Rights Act of 1964. You will see that both dems and repubs voted for it (and repubs voted in a higher percentage). So conservatives might be resistant to change but they certainly are not unwilling to change.
    ---------------------------------
    That was fifty years ago, man. Guess what? Times have changed. Rand Paul is on record stating that he thinks the CRA is unconstitutional, and that he would not vote for it today. Guess what happened next? Not one Republican disagreed with him.

    Conservatives are most unwilling to change, tom. Most consrvatives are so resistant to change that they cannot open their minds enough to even consider new ideas, much less mull them over and actually comprehend them. You see, there's this instinctive habit to make everything new fit into its' proper place in the world order.

    January 29, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    The recent news from the GOP – a woman spokesperson, a new black politician.
    I guess for the GOP this really is BIG news.
    CBS news reported 1% black membership in the TeaParty so their BIG news won't hit until the year 2099.

    January 29, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. with a grain of salt

    Tony struggles a bit with reality, don't worry, the gop will tell you what to think, makes life so much easier.

    January 29, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. with a grain of salt

    Now tom, different story, I honestly believe he cares about our country. I can't say we agree, but I appreciate his concern.

    January 29, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. drake mallard

    more like token in the gop

    January 29, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Marcus (from...?)

    Rudy NYC – He obviously forgot what happened after the CRA/1964 was signed, especially regarding the proportion of votes between Dems and republicans in the South (3:1 to 1:3).

    January 29, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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