David Boren, Jim Inhofe still shaping Oklahoma’s future
Forty years ago, David Boren beat Jim Inhofe in the Oklahoma governor’s race. Inhofe, now a U.S. senator, vowed to leave politics, but he stuck around. And he and Boren, the University of Oklahoma’s longtime president, are still major influences in the state.
by Chris Casteel
WASHINGTON — Forty years ago, Jim Inhofe stood in front of supporters at a watch party in Tulsa and conceded defeat.
It was Nov. 5, 1974, and the Republican state senator had just lost the Oklahoma governor’s race in a landslide to Democrat David Boren. A dejected Inhofe said he would leave politics after his last two years in the Legislature.
Funny how that worked out.
Instead of leaving politics, he ran for one office after another and, earlier this month, won a new six-year term in the U.S. Senate. He just turned 80.
Boren, who is 73, just celebrated his 20th anniversary as president of the University of Oklahoma. Before going to Norman, Boren spent four years as governor and 16 years as a U.S. senator.