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James Lankford on ‘Big Dirty Secret’ of Senate Campaign (Video Interview)

Oklahoma Republican James Lankford, a second term congressman seeking the state’s open Senate seat, chose his words carefully in a recent interview when discussing his top opponent, former state Speaker T.W. Shannon.

“I keep Reagan’s 11th Commandment that I don’t run down other Republicans,” Lankford told CQ Roll Call.

That’s true in both interviews and in his paid media strategy, as Lankford noted he plans to not run any negative ads in advance of the June 24 primary.

GOP Sen. Tom Coburn is resigning at the end of this Congress. Lankford and Shannon lead a handful of Republicans vying to fill the remaining two years of his term. If no one takes a majority of the primary vote, the top two will advance to an Aug. 26 runoff.

In the wide-ranging interview, Lankford discussed the “celebrity mindset” in politics, term limits for members of Congress — something Coburn also supports — and even addressed “the big dirty secret” of his campaign: Lankford attended the University of Texas, which is the athletic arch-rival of the Oklahoma Sooners.

“It’s so funny to me the number of Oklahomans that would say, ‘I wish you’d just done drugs like everybody else, and then that would be so much easier to swallow,’” Lankford said jokingly.

The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates this race Safe Republican.

The candidate’s team: Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group (polling); John Brabender of Brabender Cox (media).

Previous candidate interviews:

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