Tom Coburn (R-OK) announced he will be leaving the Senate at the end of this year. Coburn has been battling cancer for a number of years. The ink wasn’t dry on his announcement letter before the ‘Pub establishment declared who will be Coburn’s successor.

Earlier today, Congressman James Lankford announced his candidacy to replace Senator Coburn in Oklahoma.  Groups like Senate Conservatives’ Fund and Madison Project (my day-job employer) pointed out that Lankford has gone along with the establishment leadership in the House on a number of critical votes and that he’d offer more of the same in the Senate.

Lankford’s response is both peculiar and telling.  Here is what he told The Hill’s Alexandra Jaffe:

“The different Washington, D.C.-based groups and the different special interest groups, they all want to be able to pick who they want to be a senator. They don’t speak for everyone, and they definitely don’t speak for Oklahomans,” he told The Hill in an interview on Monday. […]

But Lankford stood by his vote for the budget deal, which eased some of the sequestration cuts to the defense budget and other programs, as a vote “in favor of strong national defense.”

He suggested attacking him for that vote was an example of the way groups opposed to his candidacy “will loop votes together and try to say that they are something that they are not…that’s the Washington, D.C. game


Others in Oklahoma disagree with the choice by the Washington establishment.

To answer the question that keeps invading my vacation in the form of tweets, Facebook messages, texts, and emails [concerning Tom Coburn’s successor] — Congressman Jim Bridenstine. Jim is the guy I would support in an instant to replace Senator Coburn in Okalahoma. I don’t know whether he is running or not, but conservatives would be insane to not draft him into the race. In fact, I think conservatives should draft him, rally around him, and let the establishment be the side divided behind multiple candidates.

When Coburn ran for the Senate in 2004, the establishment rallied behind his opponent in the primary. Coburn was the outsider. But conservatives united behind him, rallied, and won. We need to do the same for Jim Bridenstine.

Jim’s a veteran, a friend, a solid conservative, and would continue Senator Coburn’s commitment to rooting out government waste, fraud, and abuse. He’d also stand with Senators Cruz and Lee to fight the fight that must be fought even against his own side over the size and scope of the federal government.

I don’t even have to consider other candidates in Oklahoma. In my mind, Jim is the only guy I’d want to support without reservation. I hope he’ll run. — RedState.

Oklahoma is another state where the ‘Pub establishment has declared who will run ignoring other candidates who are supported by the state’s grassroot conservatives. As in Kentucky, Ohio, Nebraska and many other states across the country, the line-up this year will not be Dem vs. Pub, but the Washington establishment vs. the states, conservatives, and the Tea Party.

Like the democrats, the ‘Pub establishment fears losing power, prestige and their place in the Ruling Class. McConnell, Boehner and the rest of the establishment have already allied themselves with Obama, Reid and the dems. They now support more spending, funding Obamacare, open immigration and all the other liberal agendas, anything to retain their seats and their position in the Washington power structure.

A number of people have asked me if there will be a 3rd party that will oppose those in Washington who have betrayed their constituents. The answer is yes, one exists. It is the party that is the one that has existed for 157 years, the Republican Party. It is the Washington establishment who has changed and deserves a new label—DemLites, perhaps, because none of them align with our historic, conservative, Republican principles.

The Republican Party needs no successor. It hasn’t changed, only those in Washington, those who have sold their souls to the liberal Washington elite to remain in power, that has changed.

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