Saturday, February 26, 2022

Elected officials react to Inhofe's retirement announcement

Sen. Jim Inhofe's announcement of his pending retirement will likely trigger an avalanche of candidacies in the Senatorial special election and subsequent open seats causes by the race. We'll continue to watch things as they develop.

Following are statements from Oklahoma's congressional delegation, as well as Gov. Stitt (who has said he is "fully committed" to his gubernatorial reelection campaign) and Lt. Gov. Pinnell:

Lankford Statement on Retirement of Senator Jim Inhofe

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) issued a statement following the announcement by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) that he plans to retire from the US Senate on January 1, 2023:

“Cindy and I are deeply grateful for the service and friendship of Jim and Kay Inhofe. The Senate is losing a warrior. His absence will be felt, and he will be missed. But we are thrilled for him and Kay, along with their family, to get more time together in the days ahead. 

“His legacy in the Senate will be remembered as a fighter for our military service members and our nation’s infrastructure. Oklahomans will remember his leadership when they’re driving on sound highways and bridges—but he will also be known for his love for Jesus and his love for sharing Jesus with the world. 

“On behalf of Oklahoma, we are grateful for the dedication he and Kay have given to our state. He will truly be missed in the Senate.” 

Congressman Lucas Praises Service, Celebrates Impactful Career of U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe

Cheyenne, OK – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement on the announcement of U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe’s retirement:

“Today, the great state of Oklahoma, past and present members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation, and the entire United States Senate celebrate the impactful career of Senator Jim Inhofe.

“For five decades, Jim has served the people of Oklahoma with the utmost integrity and purpose. Long before serving in the U.S. Senate, Jim began his tireless work for his community in the Oklahoma Legislature and later as the mayor of Tulsa. Senator Inhofe’s calling- whether it be from the importance of family and serving those around you or from his moral compass and patriotism- is a combination of duty and decency. 

“To watch and work with Senator Inhofe is to witness a true statesman. Jim’s work advocating for numerous policies and practices that be believed were worthy of his country has made our entire nation stronger, safer, and has made a loving impact on millions of families across the United States. But we all know Jim takes greatest pride in the many ways he helped his fellow Oklahomans back home. From being a larger-than-life advocate for Oklahoma’s military installations to improving infrastructure across the state, Jim Inhofe has made an impact on Oklahomans that will be felt for generations.

“While I know he is happy to spend more time with his loving family, fortunately the Oklahoma delegation and the Senate are not bidding farewell to Jim Inhofe just yet.

“Lynda and I are honored to call Senator Inhofe and Kay dear friends and we thank them both for their shared public service to a grateful state.”


OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 25, 2022) – Governor Kevin Stitt released the following statement after Senator Jim Inhofe announced he will retire from the United States Senate effective January 3, 2023:

“Senator Jim Inhofe has served the State of Oklahoma with unwavering devotion. At every turn, Oklahoma has benefited from his profound vision for a strong national military, robust infrastructure system, and vibrant domestic energy production. I am grateful he has committed to serving the state and our nation through the end of 2022.”

Bice Statement on Senator Inhofe's Retirement

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (OK-05) released the following statement:

“I have spoken with Senator Inhofe about his retirement and wish him and Kay all the best as they embark on this new chapter in their lives. Senator Inhofe has been an incredible advocate for Oklahoma, ensuring our military bases continue to thrive and have the resources they need. In addition, he has tirelessly worked to provide for Oklahoma’s infrastructure and transportation needs. As Oklahoma’s senior senator, he has dedicated his life to public service, ensuring Oklahoma’s future is bright. I look forward to gaining more insight and knowledge from him as we continue working together over the next year.”

Cole Statement on Senator Inhofe’s Planned Retirement

Moore, OK – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) made the following statement after U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe announced his plan to retire from Congress in January of next year.

“While I respect Jim Inhofe’s decision to retire in January of next year, I heard the news with a heavy heart. Jim Inhofe is the longest serving federal elected official in Oklahoma history. He casts a giant shadow in Oklahoma political history.

“I first met Jim Inhofe almost 50 years ago when I was a young Republican activist, and he was running for Governor in 1974. Jim didn’t win that race, but he went on to become the most consequential and effective political leader in Oklahoma history.

“Jim was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986 when I was Republican State Chairman. When he ran for the U.S. Senate, I was privileged to be one of his political consultants. And I was his chief pollster in his 1996 and 2002 Senate campaigns. It was an honor and an education to be part of his political team.

“In 2002, in a late campaign development, I ran for the U.S. House when my friend and client J. C. Watts decided not to seek re-election. Jim was one of those who encouraged me to run for Congress, and he helped me every step of the way.

“Once I arrived in Washington, no one did more to help, advise, educate and support me than Jim Inhofe. He has been a role model, a mentor and a wise counselor throughout my career.

“In my time in Congress, no one has done more to defend America, build infrastructure across our country and fiercely defend and advance the interests of Oklahoma than Jim Inhofe. He leads our congressional delegation and represents our state with unmatched vision, energy and integrity. He is a giant in the Senate and the most important Republican leader in the history of our state.

“Serving in Congress with Jim Inhofe has been one of the greatest privileges of my career. We have worked hand in hand on defense issues, infrastructure improvement and a range of issues impacting America’s and Oklahoma’s future. I always found that when I was working with Jim, I was on the right side for both America and Oklahoma.

“I look forward to working with my friend Jim Inhofe in the months ahead to advance the interests of our state and our country. But when he retires from the Senate, no one will miss him more, no one will honor him more and no one will celebrate his service more than me. When Jim Inhofe leaves the Senate, America will be losing a great patriot and statesman. Oklahoma will be losing a relentless advocate and defender. And I will be losing a role model, a mentor and a great friend.

“I wish Jim and his family well in his retirement. But I know Oklahoma and America will miss his leadership, integrity and vision in the years ahead. Very few political leaders are irreplaceable. In my opinion, Jim Inhofe is.”

Mullin Statement on Senator Inhofe’s Retirement Announcement

WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) released the following statement after U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe announced he would retire from the U.S. Senate.

“Senator Inhofe has dedicated his life to serving our state and our country,” Mullin said. “Serving in both chambers of both our state and federal governments, he has been a strong and steady voice for Oklahomans every step of the way. His accomplishments for Oklahoma are too many to name and his commitment to our men and women in uniform is too great to be matched. I have no doubt we are better off today because of his tireless service and I am truly at a loss for words in describing my gratitude. While I will sincerely miss him in Washington, I wish him and Kay nothing but the best in their well-deserved retirement in the Sooner state.”

U.S. Representative Kevin Hern:

Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell:


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