Fallin challenger switching to Senate race

Former Oklahoma state Sen. Randy Brogdon (R) will drop his primary challenge to Gov. Mary Fallin (R) and make his bid for Senate official next week, his campaign announced Friday.

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“Randy had been working to organize a run for governor before Senator Coburn announced his early retirement. Since then, he’s been overwhelmed by supporters urging him to run for Senate. In the next few days, he will make his decision official,” said Brogdon spokesman Louis Waller in a statement.

Brodgon joins Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R) in the GOP primary to replace retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R).

He has been receiving encouragement from conservatives in the state unhappy with their options after Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) opted out of the race.

Brogdon launched his second challenge to Fallin in December after losing to her in the 2010 gubernatorial primary. Conservatives are bullish on his chances if he does enter the race because he drew nearly 40 percent of the vote in that last race, despite running an underfunded campaign.

They also believe Brogdon could draw on untapped resources and support because he’s based out of the Tulsa area, while Lankford represents the Oklahoma City area.

Still, he remains the underdog in the race, as Lankford and Shannon both have stronger fundraising and political connections in Oklahoma and nationally. The primary contest looks to be a race to the right, and whoever gets the nomination is expected to easily win in the general.