Fourth Sunday after Epiphany preview
O Pioneers! is 100

Oklahoma Senate Race

So, it appears that the GOP primary race for Tom Coburn's seat is now set.  And no Democrat has yet announced.  

What surprises me is the list of who are not in this race.  Oklahoma has prominent leaders and politicians who are taking a pass.  

On the GOP side there is the former Governor Frank Keating who was once on the short-list for Vice President.  And there are former Congressmen such as J. C. Watts, Steve Largent, and Mickey Edwards who held more prominent state and national profiles.  Even Earnest Istook, whose electoral success I never understood, would make some sense.  And of the sitting Congressmen, Tom Cole would be the more obvious choice, and was the name floated when Coburn first announced.

The obvious Democrat candidate is popular former Governor Brad Henry.  That he is sitting out the race is quite the sign of the times.  I was never a fan of former Congressman Dan Boren, but there is a time when someone with his record would have been a potential candidate.  I've always said that in the Oklahoma I grew up, Robert Henry would be a long-serving Senator (one can dream).  There are so many skilled Oklahoma politicians who have no current hopes of moving up the ladder of public service, though they would have once -- Susan Savage, Drew Edmondson, Kathy Taylor, Jim Roth -- not that all of them would be potential Senate candidates of course.

Normally these are the sorts of folk who would run.  That they aren't is a sign of how very different politics in Oklahoma now is from what it was in living memory.


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