Gov. Stitt Won't Run For Senate Seat, But Who Might?

Representatives for Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt tell News 9 that he does not intend to run for U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe's soon-to-be-open Senate seat. But who might run? And who has a chance to win -- and why?

Friday, February 25th 2022, 6:37 pm

By: Scott Mitchell, Storme Jones


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Representatives for Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt tell News 9 that he does not intend to run for U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe's soon-to-be-open Senate seat.

But who might run? And who has a chance to win -- and why?

This is a list of the possible future candidates who could make a serious run at the Senate.

1. Luke Holland. He's already launched a website, and he has the endorsement of Sen. Inhofe himself. Holland is an Inhofe loyalist and current chief of staff for the 87-year-old Senator who's been on his staff for roughly 13 years. Sen. Inhofe says Holland is the best qualified to carry on his agenda.

Sources say the Bartlesville native is seen as astute and principled and a throwback to an earlier, more dignified political past.

2. Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell. He's a shoo-in to be re-elected and has significant national experience. On a course to run for governor in 2026, likely against current House Speaker Charles McCall. Pinnell will be on everybody's list, but it's doubtful he'd jump.

3. T.W. Shannon. Oklahoma's first Black Speaker of the House was on a meteoric rise until he was defeated soundly by then-Congressman James Lankford in 2015. All his avenues for higher office have been blocked since then. It is expected that Shannon will run.

4. House Speaker Charles McCall. Likely to soon become only the second person to be elected to four terms as Speaker, the mild-mannered Atoka banker is somewhat a throwback to a more civil political era. A likely 2026 candidate for governor, Speaker McCall would be a formidable candidate, sources say.

5 and 6. U.S. Reps. Kevin Hern and MarkWayne Mullin. Both are relatively unknown nationally but personally wealthy -- and Senate openings seldom happen.

7 and 8. An attorney general battle between Gentner Drummond and current Attorney General John O'Connor may not happen as both are said, according to sources, to be eyeing this Senate seat. It's also possible, sources say, that O'Connor chooses to run for Oklahoma's House District 1 instead of the U.S. Senate, making the attorney general race wide open.

9. Among the Democrats, former U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn is believed likeliest to run for an open Senate seat. She would attract name recognition given her recent visibility. Plus, given that this would be an open Senate seat, Horn's candidacy would attract money from national Democrat PACs.

10. Former U.S. Rep. Dan Boren is a possible candidate among Democrats, sources say. And there has been a Sen. Boren before ...

11. What about Brad Henry? The former governor was extremely popular as the last Democrat to hold that office.









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