Anti-abortion firebrand Gov. Kevin Stitt crushes Oklahoma GOP primary challengers

Both Stitt and incumbent Sen. James Lankford overwhelmingly won their primaries

Updated: June 28, 2022 - 11:54pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt swept the primary field on Tuesday with about two-thirds of the vote, as did Sen. James Lankford, who received more than 70% of votes counted when The Associated Press called the race in his favor.

Stitt, whom former President Donald Trump endorsed, is known for resuming capital punishment in Oklahoma, permitting permitless carry of guns, and promising to "sign every piece of pro-life legislation" he can.

While Stitt faced three challengers, the AP declared him the primary winner before 7:45 pm local time with less than 10% of ballots counted. 

Lankford, who battled two challengers, easily won his primary, with the AP calling the race for him before 7:30 pm local time. 

His win was a blow to Trump allies Michael Flynn and Rodger Stone, who endorsed Tulsa pastor Jackson Lahmeyer in the race.

Lankford is set to run this fall against Madison Horn, who prevailed against five other Democratic candidates with just over one-third of the vote by the time the AP called the race. 

Thirteen Republicans competed in a special election Tuesday to fill the seat of Oklahoma GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe, who is retiring after serving since 1994.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, who made national headlines last year for helping directly evacuate people from Afghanistan, took first in the primary with 44.5% of the vote and will proceed to a runoff election.

Whoever wins will go against former U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn, who ran unopposed. Horn served one term in the House before losing to Rep. Stephanie Bice (R) in 2020.

It is unlikely that the state will go blue as the last Democrat to win the presidential race in Oklahoma was Lyndon Johnson. The last time Oklahoma elected a Democratic senator was 1990.

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