Tulsa area will play key role in U.S. Senate race

By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer

Get ready, northeastern Oklahoma. You’re about to get to know U.S. Rep. James Lankford and state Rep. T.W. Shannon a whole lot better.

Expect the two likeliest contenders to replace U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn to be all over the airwaves and wherever two or more Republicans are gathered for the next four months. With no Democrat of note in the race, at least to this point, June’s GOP primary looms as this year’s election battleground.

Tulsa and its environs will figure heavily in the outcome. Tulsa County has 19 percent of the state’s registered Republicans. With the adjoining counties, the share goes up to almost one-third.

There is also the historical anomaly that, for the first time since 1968, and one of the few times in state history, northeastern Oklahoma has no betting interest in a competitive U.S. Senate race.

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