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Tea Party Favorite Bridenstine Won’t Run For Senate In Oklahoma

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Tea Party Favorite Bridenstine Won’t Run For Senate In Oklahoma

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Jim Bridenstine

Republicans may have dodged a political bullet on Wednesday, when Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) announced that he will not run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) in 2014.

“After giving this matter serious consideration and prayer, my family and I have decided I will not run in the special election to complete Dr. Coburn’s term,” Bridenstine said in a statement, as reported by Talking Points Memo. “I would like to thank my faithful supporters who have provided so much encouragement. Their extraordinary outpouring of support strengthens my resolve to continue our efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Bridenstine, an unabashedly right-wing freshman from Tulsa, was many Tea Party groups’ favored choice to replace the infamously conservative Coburn in the Senate. Within days of Coburn’s announcement that he would step down, the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project released statements urging him to jump into the race.

Bridenstine’s choice to remain in the House clears the path for fellow Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), the fifth-ranking House Republican, to move to the upper chamber of Congress. Lankford, who has drawn criticism from the right for the perception that he is insufficiently conservative, now seems less likely to face the type of mad dash to the right that has repeatedly plagued Republican candidates and embarrassed the national party in recent GOP primaries.

Although Lankford will not have to face arguably his most threatening challenger, he won’t walk to the GOP nomination unopposed. Almost immediately after Bridenstine announced that he will not run for the seat, Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon formally jumped into the race.

No Democrats have entered the contest so far, but whoever wins the June 24 Republican primary is expected to easily win the general election in deep-red Oklahoma.

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Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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1 Comment

  1. daniel bostdorf January 29, 2014

    Bridensetin is no political amateur. He understands that the days of the GOP controlled by the Teaparty are numbered. He is very smart to stay put, and let the political extereme right wing exhaust itself.

    From the article:
    “Bridenstine’s choice to remain in the House clears the path for fellow
    Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), the fifth-ranking House Republican, to move
    to the upper chamber of Congress. Lankford, who has drawn criticism from
    the right for the perception that he is insufficiently conservative,
    now seems less likely to face the type of mad dash to the right that has
    repeatedly plagued Republican candidates and embarrassed the national
    party in recent GOP primaries.”

    But Lankford has a OPAC/Teaparty backed challenger: T.W. Shannon.

    Republican Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon is is a protege of 4th District U.S. Rep. Tom Cole and former 4th District congressman J.C. Watts and is a member of the Chickasaw Nation. He is also of African-American descent, and is the state’s first black House speaker….. Shannon is quoted as to his indian heritage: “a sixth-generation Oklahoman, a sixth-generation Chickasaw, raising seventh-generation Chickasaws. ”

    GOPAC, an organization whose mission it is to support up-and-coming Republican leaders, recently added Shannon to its national advisory board.

    The infamous “GOPAC memo”, called “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control”, was written and distributed to members of the Republican Party by Gingrich in 1994…… It contained a list of “contrasting words” and “optimistic positive governing words” that Gingrich recommended for use in describing Democrats and Republicans, respectively.

    For example, words to use against opponents include decay, failure (fail), collapse(ing), deeper, crisis, urgent(cy), destructive, destroy, sick, pathetic, lie, liberal, they/them, unionized bureaucracy, “compassion” is not enough,
    betray, consequences, limit(s), shallow, traitors, sensationalists; words to use in defining a candidate’s own campaign and vision included
    share, change, opportunity, legacy, challenge, control, truth, moral,
    courage, reform, prosperity, crusade, movement, children, family,
    debate, compete, active(ly), we/us/our, candid(ly), humane, pristine,
    provide.

    Shannon advocated a measure to require Oklahoma recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) to perform at least 35 hours of work activities or be denied aid. The work requirement was scaled back after the cost of providing job training to SNAP recipients became clear

    About the Chickasaw Nation:
    “The Chickasaw Nation is a federally recognized Native American nation, located in Oklahoma. They are one of the members of the Five Civilized Tribes. The Chickasaw Nation was created after the Chickasaw people were forcibly removed by the US federal government to Indian Territory in the 1830s. Their removal was part of a larger effort by the federal government to relocate peoples from the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. The removals became known as the “Trail of Tears”.”

    More about Chickasaw Nation here:
    https://www.chickasaw.net/Our-Nation.aspx
    More about Shannon:
    http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/elections/house-speaker-t-w-shannon-to-mull-u-s-senate/article_66cf3bb6-82e8-11e3-833c-001a4bcf6878.html

    This young, black, extremely conservative politician is someone to watch out for.

    Reply

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