Reports: Senator Jim Inhofe to step down

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – There are reports surfacing that Oklahoma’s senior U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe will be stepping down next week.

At least two news outlets say that he will announce his retirement next week but that he will remain in office until the end of the year.

KFOR has not independently confirmed the reports by Politico and The New York Times, however we have contacted Sen. Inhofe’s office but have not heard back.

Sen. Inhofe was just elected to another six year term back in 2020.

Former Oklahoma Lt. Governor Todd Lamb and member of the KFOR Flash Point Team said if Sen. Inhofe steps down it could have a domino effect on many races to be decided this fall in the general election.

“There were rumors this past week that he was going to retire and step away early from the Senate. To Be Determined if he’s going to retire and vacate immediately or if he will retire/resign to a date certain,” said Lamb.

Some names circulating as to who may run for the seat if Sen. Inhofe does step down include:

  • Former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, T.W. Shannon
  • U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern R-Tulsa
  • U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville

Oklahoma Senate Bill 959, which was signed into law by Governor Stitt in May 2021, modified procedures in filling a vacancy in the United States Senate. Under SB959, if a vacancy occurs in an even numbered year on or before March 1, a special election, if necessary, would be held the same year to fill the seat.

Sen. Inhofe served in the U.S. House from 1987-1994. He then moved to the U.S. Senate, where he has served since 1994.

Be sure to tune in Sunday morning, February 27, at 9:30 for a new Flash Point where the team will be discussing in detail Sen. Inhofe and the Russia and Ukraine Crisis.

This is a developing story.

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