Former state Sen. Steve Russell easily defeated State Corporations Commissioner Patrice Douglas in Tuesday's GOP runoff, and now he is on a clear course to join Congress this fall representing Oklahoma's 5th District.
Russell defeated Douglas, 59 percent to 41 percent, with 31 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. Both Russell and Douglas were vying for the Republican nod to replace Rep. James Lankford. In June, Lankford won the GOP nomination in the special-election primary to fill out the remaining term of Sen. Tom Coburn, who will resign at the end of this Congress.
In the June primary, Russell came in first out of a crowded field , taking 27 percent of the vote — far less than the 50 percent needed to win the nomination outright. Douglas was not far behind with 24 percent — a margin separated by fewer than 1,000 votes. While Douglas had the financial advantage, as well as support from a number of House Republican women , Russell proved to have a more compelling story. A retired lieutenant colonel in the Army, Russell helped lead the operation that captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003.
Russell will almost certainly win this deeply conservative district, located in and around Oklahoma City, this fall. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district with 59 percent in 2012.
Oklahoma's 5th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
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