This doesn’t mean the seat isn’t safely in Republican hands, but Cole, a veteran congressman, told Roll Call that it often isn’t Oklahomans’ cup of tea to vote with out-of-state groups that promote candidates.
This is happening with Tea Party support from the Senate Conservatives Fund and The Madison Project, both of which have endorsed U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Tulsa), from Oklahoma’s first congressional district. Tea Partiers want him to leaf the House and run for the Senate. Leaf, Tea Party, get it?
Cole, who has been at odds with some conservatives for taking a
moderate stance on some hot-button issues, knows he likely will not be
invited to an ultraconservative teatime soon and said voters should warm
up to two other candidates: State Rep. T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton), who
stepped down as speaker of the house to run, and U.S. Rep. James
Lankford, who represents Oklahoma’s fifth congressional district.