Two-term congressman James Lankford won the Republican primary Tuesday in Oklahoma for the U.S. Senate, defeating former speaker of the house T.W. Shannon. Lankford, who has so far received more than 57 percent of the primary vote, will run in the general to finish out the remainder of Republican senator Tom Coburn's term. Coburn is retiring early, at the end of this year, due to a cancer diagnosis.
At 46 years old, the red-haired, boyish Lankford is likely to win to safely Republican seat. Before winning his first race for Congress in 2010, he was a Christian youth camp director and had never run for political office before. In his more than three years in the House of Reprensentatives, Lankford has gained a reputation as a pragmatic and amiable conservative.
Joining Lankford on the ticket is incumbent Republican Jim Inhofe, who easily won his primary to run for his fourth full term in the Senate.