OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced his retirement in a press conference Friday afternoon.
In a letter submitted by Inhofe to Oklahoma Secretary of State Brian Bingman, he said he intends to retire from the U.S. Senate on Jan. 3, 2023, at the end of the 117th Congressional Session.
He said this allows a special election to be held concurrent with the existing election schedule.
The press conference also included Inhofe’s Chief of Staff, Luke Holland, who announced his candidacy for Inhofe’s Senate seat, with Inhofe’s endorsement.
“Luke is a fierce conservative and the best person to continue my legacy of a strong national defense and investment in local infrastructure,” said Inhofe.
Inhofe was anticipated to be at the conference in person, but confirmed he has tested positive for COVID-19, and joined via phone.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt released the following statement about Inhofe’s retirement:
“Senator Jim Inhofe has served the State of Oklahoma with unwavering devotion. At every turn, Oklahoma has benefited from his profound vision for a strong national military, robust infrastructure system, and vibrant domestic energy production. I am grateful he has committed to serving the state and our nation through the end of 2022.”
Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford released the following statement:
“Cindy and I are deeply grateful for the service and friendship of Jim and Kay Inhofe. The Senate is losing a warrior. His absence will be felt, and he will be missed. But we are thrilled for him and Kay, along with their family, to get more time together in the days ahead.
“His legacy in the Senate will be remembered as a fighter for our military service members and our nation’s infrastructure. Oklahomans will remember his leadership when they’re driving on sound highways and bridges—but he will also be known for his love for Jesus and his love for sharing Jesus with the world.
“On behalf of Oklahoma, we are grateful for the dedication he and Kay have given to our state. He will truly be missed in the Senate.”
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