Another candidate for Coburn's seat

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Reported by: Farron Salley
Updated: 1/30 11:26 am Published: 1/29 4:56 pm

One high-profile Oklahoma Republican says yes, while another says no.

As FOX23’s Farron Salley explains the plot thickens in the race to fill Senator Tom Coburn’s* seat in Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon announced he will run for Coburn’s seat, three Republican candidates are now vying for a seat in the Senate.

So far no Democrats have entered the race.

“There have been reports of a number of different people seriously looking at the race,” said Michael Whelan, the chairman of the Tulsa County Democratic party.

Whelan said he is optimistic about a Democrat’s chances, despite the latest announcement from Shannon.

“The decision to run has not been an easy one but frankly it's the only decision I could've made,” said Shannon.

Shannon outlined the need for reduced spending and a balanced budget.

But, Democrats believe that's no more than talk.

“He wants to go to Washington to fix Washington when he can’t even fix the education system here in the Oklahoma,” said Whelan.

Whelan told FOX23 he's working to convince local attorney Clark Brewster to run for Coburn’s seat.

Meantime, the Republicans already have more than one option, including Rep. James Lankford. He has gotten some heat from tea party supporters who said his voting record hasn't been conservative enough.

The other confirmed GOP candidate is Jason Weger, a paramedic from Norman.

Despite a lot of talk Rep. Jim Bridenstine would run, he has now confirmed he will not, at least, not this time. He released this statement.

Since Dr. Tom Coburn’s retirement announcement, I have been honored and overwhelmed by encouragement to succeed him as Oklahoma’s senator.

After giving this matter serious consideration and prayer, my family and I have decided I will not to run in the special election to complete Dr. Coburn’s term.

I would like to thank my faithful supporters who have provided so much encouragement. Their extraordinary outpouring of support strengthens my resolve to continue our efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The primary election will take place on June 24 and the general election is Nov. 4.

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