Rep. John Sullivan loses GOP primary

Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) lost his reelection bid Tuesday in a surprise defeat at the hands of a political newcomer.

Political neophyte Jim Bridenstine, a Navy pilot, topped Sullivan 54 percent to 46, with 94 percent of precincts reporting.

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Sullivan, first elected in 2002, is one of the more conservative members of Congress. In 2010, he easily won reelection with 66 percent of the vote.

He gained national attention in February of this year when he told constituents at a town hall meeting that shooting senators would be the only way to pass the House GOP budget. "You know, but other than me going over there with a gun and holding it to their head and maybe killing a couple of them," Sullivan said. 

He later apologized for the remark.

Sullivan won a 2002 special election to fill the seat vacated by Steve Largent, who resigned to run for governor. He held a seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

In 2009, Sullivan took a leave of absence from Congress to attend the Betty Ford Center to deal with an addiction to alcohol. His arrest record was a campaign issue in 2004, when it was revealed he had been arrested for the assault and battery of an off-duty police officer in 1982 and for public intoxication and disturbing the peace in 1985.

Republicans are expected to hold the heavily GOP district, which Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) carried with 64 percent of the vote in 2008.