One current and one former member of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation are among the candidates vying to succeed U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe. 

Inhofe, a Republican who was first elected to the Senate in 1994, announced earlier this year he would retire effective January 3, 2023, triggering a special election. The seat will be up for re-election in 2026.

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

The Candidates

Democrat Kendra Horn, an attorney from Oklahoma City. Served as U.S. Representative for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional from 2019 to 2021. 

Republican Markwayne Mullin, current U.S. Representative for Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District and owner of Mullin Plumbing. From Westville, Oklahoma. 

Libertarian Robert Murphy, a retired computer network technician and telecommunications manager from Norman. 

Independent Ray Woods, a retired business owner from Cleo Springs.

What They’re Running On

Mullin has campaigned extensively on the economy and energy, saying the U.S. needs to increase domestic oil production and reduce government spending in order to curb inflation. He has expressed support for a national ban on abortion without exceptions and is opposed to gun control efforts. In January 2021, Mullin voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results. 

Horn has said she would work with members of both major parties and be accessible to constituents if elected. She has described Oklahoma’s abortion ban as “government overreach” and said the procedure should be available to women up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy. Horn favors an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy production, saying the U.S. should work to improve oil and gas production while expanding renewable resources. 

Murphy is opposed to federal vaccine mandates and gun regulations, calling such action encroachment. He supports abolishing federal regulations on controlled substances, saying “attempts to stop drug use through law and punishment are futile and misguided.”

If elected, Woods says he would fight federal bureaucracy and work to transfer more power to state and local governments. He is opposed to U.S. involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and supports reducing military spending.

For More Information

Horn: Facebook/Campaign Website

Mullin: Facebook/Campaign Website

Murphy: Facebook/Campaign Website

Woods: Campaign Website

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Today, Monday, October 24, is the deadline to request an absentee ballot from your county election board. 

Visit the OK Voter Portal to request an absentee ballot, check your polling place’s address and view a sample ballot.

What I’m Reading This Week

  • GOP PAC to Launch ‘Seven-Figure’ Ad Buy Against Joy Hofmeister in Oklahoma Governor Race: Last Wednesday, the Republican Governor’s Association launched a series of advertisements attempting to tie Hofmeister to President Joe Biden’s energy policies. The ad buy comes as polls show Stitt and Hofmeister in a tight contest. [The Oklahoman]
  • Stitt, Hofmeister Tussle Over State Performance, McGirt and Abortion: Stitt tried to tie his opponent to Biden and a liberal policy agenda while Hofmeister pressed Stitt on various scandals and his strained relationship with tribal relations. The Oct. 19 forum was the only scheduled gubernatorial debate this election cycle. [NonDoc]
  • We Fact-Checked the Oklahoma Governor’s Debate Between Kevin Stitt and Joy Hofmeister: The Frontier staff found candidates made false or misleading claims on crime rates and abortion laws in other states. [The Frontier]
  • Oklahoma to Vote on Legalizing Recreational Cannabis Sale, Use: Gov. Kevin Stitt set a March 7, 2023 special election date for voters to decide the fate of State Question 820. The ballot initiative’s organizers hoped the question would appear on the Nov. 8 ballot, but a slower-than-usual signature verification process and legal challenges delayed the process. [StateImpact Oklahoma]

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