U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin first won election to Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District in 2012, but as he seeks a fifth term in CD 2 he faces a pair of Republican challengers, including State Sen. Joseph Silk.
Despite breaking his self-imposed term limit pledge, Mullin won easily in his 2018 bid for re-election, capturing more than 60 percent of the vote against his Democratic challenger in the general election. Here’s a look at those running in 2020 to oppose Mullin for the GOP nomination, as well as the unopposed Democratic challenger that awaits in November.
U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R, incumbent)
Occupation: Rancher; owner of Mullin Inc.; incumbent congressman
Platform: Mullin is pro-life and bills himself as a traditional conservative who opposes same-sex marriage, according to his website. Mullin also favors construction of Donald Trump’s border wall. Mullin opposes the Affordable Care Act and touts his 45 votes against it since he was elected to congress in 2012. Mullin also supports simplifying the tax code so it can be more easily understood by individuals.
A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Mullin is one of four tribal citizens in Congress. In 2019, High Country News profiled Mullin and examined his politics. A collegiate wrestler who became an MMA fighter, Mullin has been championed girls wrestling nationwide.
Rhonda Hopkins (R)
Occupation: Health care worker
Platform: Hopkins is running on a pro-Second Amendment platform. If elected, she writes that she would work to ensure the rights of citizens to own guns. She believes in tax cuts and a reduction of regulations that curb business opportunities. Hopkins states she would also work to make sure U.S. borders are protected.
Joseph Silk (R)
Town: Broken Bow
Occupation: Silk is the current legislator representing State Senate District 5, and he also works as a real estate developer.
Platform: Silk opposes the separation of church and state, citing the value of the church when it comes to crafting public policy. He is in favor of the border wall and is in favor of a complete ban on abortion. He also wants to see the federal government yield more to state’s rights. Silk would also work toward a balance budget if elected to Congress.
In the Oklahoma State Senate, he has been most known for his attempts to abolish abortion, an effort that has led him to clash with leaders of the Republican Caucus.
Danyell Lanier (D)
Occupation: Navy veteran; organizational trainer
Platform: Running unopposed in the Democratic primary, Lanier has already advanced to the general election. If elected, she writes on her website that she would work to protect natural resources, including drinking water, expand healthcare access and improved rural healthcare facilities. She also favors investment in infrastructure and criminal justice reform.