Any room for advancement in Oklahoma federal politics hinges on the plans of Coburn.
Lankfordís 5th District would also draw a host of ambitious Republicans, operatives said. State Sen. Clark Jolley would likely eye a bid. Other potential contenders include Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett; state Sen. David Holt, previously a staffer to former Speaker Dennis Hastert; and state Rep. Tom Newell, a former professional bull rider.
On the Democratic side, there arenít nearly the same opportunities. President Barack Obama lost the Sooner State by a 33-point margin in 2012, and all five congressional districts lean solidly Republican.
Operatives said the only Democrat who could make the Senate race competitive is former Rep. Dan Boren, whose last name is synonymous with his partyís politics in Oklahoma. Borenís father, David Boren, served as governor and later senator before taking the job he currently holds as president of the University of Oklahoma.
But Republicans donít expect the younger Boren to wage a bid. Soon after his fourth term in the House ended in 2013, the 40-year-old began working for the Chickasaw Nation, a plum job for a retired member of Congress.
ďHeís the only [Democrat] who could make it competitive,Ē one Republican operative said. ďAnd Dan is smart enough not to do it.Ē
Farm Team is a weekly state-by-state look at the up-and-coming politicos who may eventually run for Congress.
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.