Republican Senator Plans to Retire

Jim Inhofe's decision could prompt a special election in Oklahoma in the fall
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2022 4:31 PM CST
Special Election in the Fall May Follow Inhofe Retirement
Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks at a Republican Party watch party in Broken Arrow, Okla., on Nov. 3, 2020.   (Matt Barnard/Tulsa World via AP)

Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe plans to announce his retirement next week, Politico reports, probably putting his seat up for grabs in a special election in the fall. The 87-year-old Oklahoman, who already had said this would be his final term in the Senate, would serve out this congressional session. If he resigns no later than March 1, his seat would appear on Oklahoma's November ballot, per KJRH. If Inhofe steps down before his successor is elected, the Republican governor would appoint a temporary replacement.

Inhofe, who has held the seat since 1994, won reelection in 2020 by about 30 percentage points, per KOCO. The state's other senator, Republican Sen. James Lankford, already is on the ballot for reelection this year. Oklahoma hasn't elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1990, per the AP. (It was Inhofe who once put former President Donald Trump on a speakerphone in a restaurant.)

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