Campaign

Lankford draws second GOP primary challenger in Oklahoma

A Republican Oklahoma state senator is launching a primary challenge to Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.). 

Nathan Dahm announced his campaign on Wednesday in a video drawing close parallels between former President Trump and himself. Recalling his narrow win in a 2012 Republican state Senate runoff, he said that both he and Trump “put in the work” to overcome long political odds.

“What drew me to Donald Trump initially was his belief that he could pull off the impossible,” Dahm says in the video. “When he first came down the escalator, he faced insurmountable odds. But Trump put in the work and shocked the establishment and accomplished amazing things.”

He joins Tulsa pastor Jackson Lahmeyer in the GOP primary.

Dahm also took aim at so-called “RINO Republicans” — Republicans in name only — and blamed lawmakers like Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) for turning on the former president. 

“What did he get for fighting for us? He got abandoned by spineless politicians,” Dahm says. “They turned on President Trump and on the patriots who elected him. Now the media, the far left and RINO Republicans want 2020 to be the end of the story. They want Trump Republicans like me to just stay quiet and roll over as they usher in their new normal.”

Lankford, who first won his Senate seat in a 2014 special election after two terms in the House, easily won his first full term in the upper chamber in 2016 by a 43-point margin. 

Lankford is among the Senate’s most conservative members. But he has drawn criticism from allies of Trump over his refusal to repeat the former president’s false claims about the 2020 election. 

Earlier this year, Oklahoma GOP Chair John Bennett endorsed Lahmeyer over Lankford. Lahmeyer has criticized Lankford for not endorsing Trump’s allegations that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Tags 2022 midterms Adam Kinzinger Donald Trump Jackson Lahmeyer James Lankford Liz Cheney Mitt Romney Nathan Dahl Oklahoma Oklahoma politics Oklahoma Senate race Republican Primary
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