Sen. Jim Inhofe to Retire

Sen. Jim Inhofe to Retire

One of Congress’ most prominent Republicans has confirmed he’s planning an early retirement.

’s Senior United States Senator revealed Friday that he will retire from the Senate, and politics, effective Jan. 3, 2023.

The 87-year-old first won election to the U.S. Senate in 1994. He won reelection in 2020.

Inhofe said he wanted to discuss his plans with more people, but that rumors swirling about his retirement, necessitated he speak out sooner.

In an interview with The Oklahoman, the longtime senator said he was “absolutely” at peace with the decision.

He said Thursday he wants to work on one last defense bill before leaving, and he predicted it would be a struggle.

Currently, he serves as the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee. When Republicans most recently held the majority, Inhofe served as the committee’s chairman following the death of John McCain.

Although Inhofe endorsed his chief of staff, Luke Holland, to carry on his legacy, his retirement will likely spark a fierce Republican primary.

WATCH:

2News Oklahoma has more on who else might run to replace Inhofe:

A Politico reporter says current U.S. Congressman Markwayne Mullin is someone expected to run for the position.

New York Times says current lieutenant governer, Matt Pinnell, and T.W. Shannon, the former speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, are potential candidates who could run.

CNN listed many possibilities including current U.S. Congressman Kevin Hern and Oklahoma attorney general candidate Gentner Drummond could make an announcement to run.

As of yet, there are no Democratic candidates in the race. One possibility is former U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn. However, Oklahoma’s strong partisan lean means the eventual Republican nominee will be the heavy favorite in the general election.

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