Tulsa pastor to challenge Oklahoma’s Lankford in GOP primary

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A 29-year-old pastor from Tulsa confirmed Tuesday he plans to launch a Republican primary challenge to U.S. Sen. James Lankford in 2022.

Sheridan Christian Center pastor Jackson Lahmeyer said former President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn plans to travel to Tulsa next week to endorse his candidacy. Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, was later pardoned by Trump.

Lahmeyer has been critical of Lankford for what he says is Lankford’s lack of support for Trump.

Lankford was among more than a dozen senators who initially objected to the certification of 2020 election results. He changed his mind after insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Lankford later apologized in a letter to Tulsa’s Black community in which he acknowledged his actions to challenge the election results “caused a firestorm of suspicion among many of my friends, particularly in Black communities around the state.”

Lankford is a member of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, a panel created to educate people about the massacre in which a white mob burned down Tulsa’s thriving Black community, known as Black Wall Street, in an attack that left 300 dead, 800 wounded and more than 8,000 homeless.