OKLAHOMA

Primary Blurs Tea Party-Establishment Lines

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Scott Bland
June 24, 2014, 6:11 a.m.

The Ok­laho­man en­dorsed Rep. James Lank­ford (R) over former state House Speak­er T.W. Shan­non (R) just be­fore the primary, writ­ing that Lank­ford would bet­ter “up­hold the Coburn stand­ard.” (The Ok­laho­man) Polls close at 8 p.m. to­night.

“The na­tion­al tea-party ma­chinery is squarely be­hind Shan­non. The con­test, which could be headed to a run­off, also car­ries broad­er im­plic­a­tions for a Re­pub­lic­an Party look­ing to shed its im­age as be­ing led mostly by old white men. … But this is not a typ­ic­al tea-party-versus-es­tab­lish­ment fight. It’s a com­plic­ated struggle fea­tur­ing two can­did­ates who blur the lines between the com­pet­ing corners of the GOP and are re­luct­ant to identi­fy ex­clus­ively with either one. Lank­ford is a mem­ber of the House GOP lead­er­ship who has a strong base of re­li­gious con­ser­vat­ive sup­port­ers built from his time out­side polit­ics run­ning the largest Chris­ti­an youth camp in the coun­try. Shan­non is not a mem­ber of Con­gress, but he used to work for two of them.”

“‘I think it’s ad­vant­age Lank­ford,’ said Mike Mc­Carville, an Ok­lahoma polit­ic­al blog­ger, who ad­ded that he ‘could see Lank­ford win­ning without a run­off’ but does not see Shan­non do­ing that.” (Wash­ing­ton Post)

Once again, some loc­al tea party groups are angry with the na­tion­al ones that have backed Shan­non in the race without con­sult­ing them. (Wash­ing­ton Ex­am­iner)

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