Conservative group is now backing GOP primary candidates in five Southern states
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com
OKLAHOMA CITY (CFP) — Former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon has picked up an endorsement from the Senate Conservatives Fund in his Republican U.S. Senate primary battle with U.S. Rep. James Lankford.
Matt Hoskins, the SCF’s executive director, says his group is backing Shannon because he “is a constitutional conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending and debt that are bankrupting our country.”
“Shannon believes in the principles of freedom that make this country great and will stand up to the big spenders in both parties to balance the budget and stop Obamacare,” Hoskins says.
Shannon, 35, from Lawton, is an African-American and also an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation. A one-time aide to former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, Shannon rocketed to prominence in state politics, becoming speaker just six years after being elected in 2006.
Lankford, 45, represents much of metro Oklahoma City in the House, In just his second term in Congress, he was elected head of the House Republican Policy Committee, the fifth highest position in the House GOP leadership.
That insider resume has drawn fire from some Tea Party and conservative groups who have been rallying around Shannon as a challenger.
However, Shannon will have competition for the Tea Party vote from former State Senator Randy Brogdon, who jumped out of Oklahoma’s governor’s race and into the Senate race after U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn announced he would resign at the end of the year.
Brogdon has announced that if elected, he will vote to topple Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The SCF is backing McConnell’s primary challenger in Kentucky, Matt Bevin.
In addition to Oklahoma and Kentucky, the SCF is backing candidates in Republican Senate primaries in Mississippi and Louisiana.
There are four other Republican’s in the race for Coburn’s seat: Kevin Crow, Eric McCray, Evelyn Rogers and Jason Weger.
Given the Sooner State’s strong Republican tilt, the GOP nominee will be the prohibitive favorite in November. The lone Democrat is the race is former State Senator Kenneth Corn, his party’s unsuccessful nominee for lieutenant governor in 2010.