Special interest money fueled Oklahoma lawmakers’ campaigns
by Chris Casteel
WASHINGTON — Oklahoma’s five U.S. House members collected more than $345,000 from special interest groups in the last three weeks of June, tapping energy companies, defense contractors, the health care industry and many others to fund their Republican primary campaigns.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, took $137,000 from political action committees in the three-week period; that was nearly two-thirds of the total amount of money he raised in the days leading to the June 28 primaries.
Reps. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, and Tom Cole, R-Moore, collected less money than Mullin but their PAC donations topped 80 percent of their total receipts, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
All five of the state’s U.S. House members faced primary challengers in June, some with anxiety that an anti-Washington mood posed a serious threat.