Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) is expected to enter into the race for retiring Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) seat, the Washington Examiner reports.
If Mullin’s name sounds familiar, it might be because he is one of the individuals last year who went to Afghanistan to rescue American families stuck behind Taliban lines following President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal of U.S troops from the country.
Mullin received a lot of press coverage for the unsanctioned trip, including Democrats, who chastised him over it.
The 44-year-old entered into the political scene in 2012 when he was first elected to represent Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is a seat that he holds to this day.
Before entering Congress, Mullin owned a plumbing company and he also became a professional MMA fighter.
Politico’s Alex Isenstadt, on Thursday, was the first to reveal that Mullin will try for Inhofe’s seat.
“GOP Rep. Markwayne Mullin is expected to run for the seat of Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, who is said to be announcing his resignation tomorrow,” Isenstadt reported.
The retirement announcement
Several outlets reported this week that the 87-year-old U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe is expected to announce his retirement within the coming days. Originally, that announcement was expected to be made on Monday, but it now appears that it will come on Friday.
What we do not know is why Inhofe is calling it quits now. The Washington Times, however, has provided some information about the timing, writing:
The timing of the announcement is related to a quirk in Oklahoma law that requires the governor to call a special election if a lawmaker announces they intend to retire before March 1. Inhofe’s chief of staff is expected to run for the Senate seat and Inhofe is expected to support his candidacy, the person said.
Inhofe is retiring two years into his six-year term. This means that a special election will be held later this year to determine who will serve the remaining four years. Inhofe is expected to remain in office through the remainder of 2022.
We now know that Mullin will likely be part of the race for Inhofe’s seat, which is expected to be easily won by a Republican.
The Washington Examiner reports that other “possible contenders for an open Senate seat in the red state would likely include Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell and T.W. Shannon, a former speaker of the state House who lost a primary race against Oklahoma’s other senator, James Lankford, in 2014.”