For the most part, Oklahoma's US Senators usually represent the two major factions of the Oklahoma GOP.
In James Lankford you have the boring, churchy, conservative, moralist – a skilled orator who uses his senate seat like a Falls Creek pulpit to blast GOP Christian talking points and prayers.
Jim Inhofe represents the other half of Oklahoma GOP voters. He's the selfish, grumpy, right-wing nut job who hate facts, science and reason, and loves nothing more than sticking it to liberals and sucking the dicks of energy industry executives, preferably both at the same time.
In keeping with that tradition, it looks like Scott Pruitt is now the heavy favorite to replace Jim Inhofe in 2020, or perhaps sooner. Here are the details via The Tulsa World:
Former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's foray into the federal bureaucracy as Environmental Protection Agency administrator doesn't seem to have diminished speculation that his ultimate goal is the U.S. Senate.
Although he remains mum about his long-range plans, Pruitt has long been seen as a potential successor to U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, who would be up for re-election in 2020, when he turns 86.
Inhofe has not said whether he'll seek another term, but he has always been very complementary of Pruitt and, publicly at least, seems to regard Pruitt as a worthy protege.
In a piece published Wednesday morning, Politico suggests some of Pruitt's EPA initiatives are regarded as political theater. His proposed televised debates on climate change are viewed with particular skepticism, according to the piece.
"The man’s running for Senate (in 2020)," says David Bookbinder of the Niskanen Center, a libertarian-leaning policy institute that favors federal regulation of greenhouse gases. "Everything he says is calculated toward securing the Republican nomination in Oklahoma and then winning the general election there."
Yeah. This isn’t good. Jim Inhofe is a powerful antagonist of lefty liberals, the environment, and general intelligence, but he's ancient technology. Scott Pruitt is a new breed. It's like Inhofe's an old Terminator that's about to be replaced by a newer model. He's still powerful and deadly and can pack a snowballs punch, but Scott Pruitt can morph his hand into swords and change into other people and stuff. It's a major concern.
So, who will Oklahoma Democrats choose to be their John Conner and go against this new machine? I have no clue, but my best guess is former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry. He may not want to run, but he's probably the only notable Democrat with a chance to take down Pruitt and the conservative Skynet that's backing him.