At least two other Democrats have been mentioned as possible candidates for the seat. Former state Sen. Kenneth Corn, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor last year, is also likely to run “no matter who else is in the race,” according to one of his aides. State Sen. Jim Wilson challenged Boren in the Democratic primary in 2010 but only garnered 24 percent of the vote.
“I’ve been surprised by his announcement and it is premature to make a decision,” Wilson said in a statement. “I did run against him in the last cycle because I didn’t believe he had the progressive values needed in CD 2.”
Boren’s announcement came as a surprise to many in Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. The four-term Congressman was actively fundraising for his campaign and reported having almost $1.04 million in the bank at the end of March.
The Democrat had also just finished working with state lawmakers to pass a new Congressional map last month and personally signed off on the changes to what many believed would be his future district.
“I was at a D.C. fundraiser for him just a couple of weeks ago and he sounded like he was full steam ahead,” one Oklahoma insider said. “This has been held close to the vest. In fact, I haven't even heard any rumors to this effect.”
Carson said he was surprised at first when Boren told him that he wouldn't run again, but looking back at some of their recent conversations, “it makes sense to me that this was something he was thinking about."
“He’s got a couple of young children and he thought it was time to do something else with his life,” Carson said. “His lifestyle, I know, is a very grueling one. … You’re under a lot of pressure as a Democrat from Oklahoma, on both sides.”