Randy Brogdon, a conservative former state senator currently challenging Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, is considering running in the Senate special election instead.
“He has got a lot of people inside of Oklahoma, probably eight or nine out of 10, that are urging him to run for Senate, and he is listening very intently to those urges,” Brogdon senior adviser Louis Waller said when reached by CQ Roll Call.
Brogdon's potential entrance comes just after Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a favorite among conservative outside groups, decided against a bid . Groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project had pushed for Bridenstine to run as a conservative alternative to Rep. James Lankford, who announced his bid for the seat earlier this month .
Brogdon, who lost to Fallin in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, has the kind of tea party profile that could garner support from those groups . If he runs, Brogdon would be the third major Republican in the race, along with state Speaker T.W. Shannon. Candidates have until April 11 to file for the race, which follows the state's regular election year schedule.
The Madison Project, which recruits conservative candidates, declined to comment on whether they have met with Brogdon.
The Oklahoma Senate seat came open when Sen. Tom Coburn announced his plans to resign from the Senate at the end of 2014, rather than finish his full term. The special-election winner will serve out the remaining two years of Coburn's term.
The eventual GOP nominee will be heavily favored to win the special in November in this solidly Republican state. The race is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
A primary for the seat is scheduled for June 24 , with a runoff scheduled for Aug. 26 if necessary.