Three challengers are looking to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. James Lankford, a Republican from Edmond, in the Nov. 8 general election. 

First elected to the position in 2014, Lankford serves on five committees, including as a ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. Following the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack, Lankford withdrew his objection to certify the 2020 presidential election results. 

Oklahomans will also vote special Senate election to fill the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Jim Inhofe. 

Compiled through publicly accessible materials, here’s a brief breakdown of the candidates and issues they’re running on: 

The Candidates: 

Libertarian Kenneth Blevins, a welder and pipefitter from Tulsa. 

Independent Michael Delaney, a software designer and engineer from Little Axe. 

Democrat Madison Horn, a former cybersecurity executive from Oklahoma City. 

Incumbent Republican James Lankford, who previously served as U.S. Representative for Oklahoma’s Fifth Congressional District and director of the Falls Creek Christian Camp. 

What They’re Running On: 

If elected, Blevins says he would support decreasing spending on foreign military operations and removing cannabis from Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act. He also lists enacting term limits for members of Congress and protecting states’ rights among his priorities. 

A self-described progressive, Delaney wants to enact stricter federal gun regulations, raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and codify abortion rights. He also supports efforts to lower fossil fuel emissions and expand renewable energy. 

Horn lists improving healthcare access, protecting the sovereignty of tribal nations and expanding rural broadband access among her top priorities. She says the federal government “must take action” to codify abortion rights and expand reproductive education. 

Lankford supports expanding fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas and opposes federal efforts to codify abortion rights. He voted against the Safer Communities Act of 2022, which expands background checks and provides federal grants for states to implement red flag laws. He describes himself as a fiscal conservative who wants to reduce the national debt. 

For More Information: 

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The League of Women Voters of Oklahoma published its comprehensive, nonpartisan voter guide last week.

You can view it at Okvoterguide.com

What I’m Reading This Week

  • Stitt Touts Medicaid Management Change; Hofmeister is Opposed: Stitt says his push to outsource SoonerCare will hold hospitals accountable. His Democratic opponent Joy Hofmeister called the plan a “scheme” that she won’t move forward with if elected. [The Oklahoman
  • Outside Groups are Outspending Candidates in the Oklahoma Governor’s Race: Super PACs and dark money groups, which are not required to disclose their donors, have spent more than $12.5 million on television advertisements. Stitt believes the attacks are coming from leaders of Oklahoma’s tribal nations. [The Frontier]
  • Stitt’s Secret Plan to Build a New Governor’s Mansion: Last year, the state completed a $2 million renovation of the historic mansion, complete with new windows and repairs for structural and plumbing issues. But Stitt, who currently lives with his family in North Edmond, has privately sought donors to fund the construction of a new governor’s mansion. [KFOR]
  • Gov. Kevin Stitt Appoints Steven Harpe to Lead Department of Corrections: Harpe, who was previously chief information officer of Stitt’s Gateway Mortgage Group before entering state government, will oversee more than 20 executions through 2024. [The Oklahoman]

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