Saturday, March 05, 2022

The latest on the 2nd Congressional District race

Here's the latest on the race for Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District, being vacated by Congressman Markwayne Mullin, who in turn is seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Jim Inhofe. It's getting to be a crowded race very quickly.

Quinn is a veteran legislator, having served in both the State House and the State Senate. His district covers portions of Rogers and Mayes counties, including the towns of Claremore, Pryor, and Catoosa, and is perhaps the most crucial legislative district for the GOP primary in CD2. In his last election (2018), Quinn raised nearly $250k in campaign funds.

  • Former State Rep. and current OKGOP Chair John Bennett is running.
A Marine Corps veteran, Bennett served four terms in the State House (2010-2018), representing most of Sequoyah County, and was elected as State Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party in April 2021. He's always been something of a lightning rod for controversial statements. He has taken the unprecedented step, as party chairman, of endorsing in contested GOP primaries, campaigning for Jackson Lahmeyer against U.S. Sen. James Lankford. He announced his candidacy at a Lahmeyer rally.

As of this writing, there are no indications that he plans to resign his position as chairman. When Gary Jones ran for State Auditor in 2006 and 2010, he resigned his chairmanship - the decent, ethical, and right thing to do. Currently, the official OKGOP page has made posts and comments in support and promotion of Bennett's nascent campaign, which is highly inappropriate.

Schiller owns Economy Pharmacy in Muskogee, and is the president of the Oklahoma Pharmacists Association. His campaign website appears to have been purchased on Wednesday, and his FEC account was filed yesterday. He has yet to make an official, public announcement. Here is a profile the Muskogee Phoenix ran on him back in November.

  • State Rep. Dustin Roberts is reportedly about to join the race.
A Navy veteran, Roberts was first elected to the State House in 2010, and is term limited this year. He was unopposed in both 2018 and 2020.

  • State Rep. Josh West is not going to run.
The State House Majority Leader issued a statement this morning to say that he would not be seeking the congressional seat.

Frix has served in the state house since 2016, and is the current chairman of the House Transportation Committee. He will probably be a big fundraiser, through family and political connections.

  • House Speaker Charles McCall is a target of speculation
McCall continues to be a name that some bring up as a potential candidate. To my knowledge, he has given no indications that he is considering the race, and from what I've heard he likely is not interested in running. Nevertheless, as Speaker of the Oklahoma House, he would be a formidable candidate.

And that about sums up the state of the race as we have it today.


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