Inhofe Endorses Humphries
US Senator Jim Inhofe wasted no time in holding a press conference to endorse OKC mayor Kirk Humphries to fill the US Senate seat being vacated by Don Nickles. Inhofe will apparently play a very major role in Humphries campaign. I have no doubt that Inhofe and the Daily Oklahoman have been working on the Humphries deal for a long time.
Congressman Istook anounced a couple of days ago that he had decided not to run for Nickles' seat afterall. Word in Republican circles is that after Inhofe told Istook he would be supporting Humphries, Istook bowed out. Istook is reportedly very peeved at the heavyhanded and early endorsement by Inhofe. In his un-announcement speech Istook repeatedly stated that the Republican Party should not be deciding "for the people" who the Republican nominee will be. He made it quite clear he was upset with the old boy network in the Republican Party (Jim Inhofe et al) that has apparently annointed Kirk Humphries and is dead set against having a contest in the Republican primary.
I was sitting with a group of Republicans watching the news coverage of the Inhofe press conference today and was interested to hear them all say that an endorsement by Inhofe was, to them, the kiss-o-death for whatever or whomever Inhofe was endorsing. "If Inhofe is for him I'm against him," said one. There's a surprising number of Republicans that are uncomfortable with Jim Inhofe representing them - but so far, not enough to defeat the man.
I'll look forward to learning more about Humphries stands on issues. All I know so far is that he is ultra-conservative and controversial (according to Cam Edwards). I have some personal experiences with Humphries that I'll go into later.
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side we wait to find out if Drew Edmondson or Brad Carson will throw their hats in.