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Oklahoma GOP nixes censure of state’s Republican US senators

July 18, 2021 GMT
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FILE - In this June 30, 2020, file photo, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., speaks to reporters following a GOP policy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. Oklahoma Republican Party members have rejected a resolution to censure the state's two GOP U.S. senators for not objecting to the Electoral College votes that certified Democrat Joe Biden as president on Jan. 6. In the Saturday, July 17, vote, 122 members of the Republican State Committee opposed the nonbinding resolution to censure Inhofe and James Lankford, while 93 supported it. The resolution also called for them to resign. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
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FILE - In this June 30, 2020, file photo, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., speaks to reporters following a GOP policy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington. Oklahoma Republican Party members have rejected a resolution to censure the state's two GOP U.S. senators for not objecting to the Electoral College votes that certified Democrat Joe Biden as president on Jan. 6. In the Saturday, July 17, vote, 122 members of the Republican State Committee opposed the nonbinding resolution to censure Inhofe and James Lankford, while 93 supported it. The resolution also called for them to resign. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Republican Party members have rejected a resolution to censure the state’s two GOP U.S. senators for not objecting to the Electoral College votes that certified Democrat Joe Biden as president on Jan. 6.

In the vote Saturday, 122 members of the Republican State Committee opposed the nonbinding resolution to censure U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, while 93 supported it. The resolution also called for them to resign.

Inhofe has said that not voting to certify the Electoral College votes would be a violation of his oath of office to support and defend the Constitution.

Lankford was among more than a dozen senators who initially objected to the certification of the 2020 election results. He changed his mind after insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

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Inhofe called Saturday’s vote a step toward uniting the Oklahoma Republican Party against Democrats and Biden’s agenda.

Lankford, who is up for reelection next year, issued a statement thanking the Oklahomans who have supported his campaign.

Newly elected state GOP Chairman John Bennett is personally backing a primary challenger to Lankford.

The challenger, Tulsa pastor Jackson Lahmeyer, has been critical of Lankford for what he says is Lankford’s lack of support for former President Donald Trump.

Gov. Kevin Stitt is among more than 80 prominent Oklahoma Republicans who have endorsed Lankford’s reelection campaign.