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Primary Race to Replace Sen. Inhofe Heads to Runoff, As Rep. Mullin Falls Short of Being Declared Winner

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

When Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) announced in February that he was retiring at the end of this year, a flurry of candidates announced their intention to run in the special election. In total, 13 candidates declared, making it almost certain that the race would head to a runoff.


Ultimately, Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District will face former Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon in an August 23 runoff. 

Rep. Mullin was declared the first candidate to advance shortly before 10:30pm, while Shannon was not announced as the second candidate until shortly before 11:00pm. 

Throughout the night, though, Rep. Mullin had such a commanding lead in the 40s that it seemed as if he might potentially avoid triggering a runoff and be declared the winner outright. 


With an estimated 87 percent of the vote in, Mullin has 43.82 percent of the vote compared to Shannon's 17.44 percent of the vote.

Luke Holland, who was endorsed by Sen. Inhofe and who served as his chief of staff, came in fourth place with 11.23 percent of the vote. 

Whoever is declared the nominee will face former Rep. Kendra Horn, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. The former congresswoman served one term before she was ousted by Rep. Stephanie Bice, a Republican who currently represents Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District.

The race is considered to heavily favor the Republican candidate. 

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