Senator James M. Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, has told officials in his state that he will step down at the end of the year, vacating a seat he has held since 1994 for four years. remaining in the term.
Inhofe, 87, is ready to announce his plans on Monday, according to two Oklahoma Republicans who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment in advance. His retirement is unlikely to affect the balance of power in the 50-50 Senate, as Oklahoma has a solidly Republican bias.
A conservative and the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Inhofe is on the road to re-election, most recently in 2020.
Although he will step down from his post before the end of his term in early 2027, Mr Inhofe has no plans to quit before the end of the year, he has told people. By waiting to make his announcement next week, he will ensure that he can be replaced in a special election, rather than being appointed by the governor of his state.
That’s because new Oklahoma law limits the governor’s opportunity to fill vacancies before a regularly held election. The competition to fill Mr Inhofe’s seat will most likely be held alongside midterm parliamentary elections in November.
Potential Republican candidates to succeed Mr. Inhofe include Matt Pinnell, lieutenant governor of the state; TW Shannon, former speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives; and R. Trent Shores, a former United States attorney in the state. Other possible candidates include most members of the Oklahoma House delegation.
Mr. Inhofe, an advocate of the right to thought, is inclined to want grand gestures to make a point. He flew a plane upside down in a 2020 re-election ad to show he’s still fit for office even in his 80s. As chairman of the Environment and Public Works Commission in 2015, Mr throw a snowball on the Senate floor in an attempt to undermine the validity of climate science.
Mr. Inhofe has enthusiastically supported the US military presence globally. With the intention of increasing the nation’s defense budget, he is seen as a hawkish defender of one of Congress’ primary responsibilities: passing the annual defense policy bill. In 2020, Mr Inhofe led his party in the rare time of leaving President Donald Trump to pass legislation crucial to his opposition.
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https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/24/us/politics/jim-inhofe-senate-retirement.html James Inhofe, Oklahoma Senator, Reportedly Plans To Retire Early