Incumbent U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe remains a strong favorite to hold onto the seat he’s occupied for 26 years, but there is no shortage of challengers who would like to replace him.
In addition to the four Democrats who will be on the ballot June 30, three Republicans are running against Inhofe in the GOP primary, hoping to represent the party in the general election.
The statewide race also includes one Libertarian and two independent candidates.
Here is a look at all of Oklahoma’s 2020 U.S. Senate candidates. The following profiles have been compiled using publicly available information.
Sheila Bilyeu (D)
Occupation: Former school counselor
Platform: Bilyeu has a campaign website, but does not otherwise appear to be actively campaigning for the Democratic nomination. Her website lists addresses both in Arizona and and Freedom, Oklahoma. She also appears to have registered to run for Senate in Arizona this year but withdrew from the election. (Her candidate filing with the Oklahoma State Election Board lists her address as a post office box in Flagstaff, Arizona.) Her website emphasized that her political views align with those of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Elysabeth Britt (D)
Town: Oklahoma City
Occupation: Human resources specialist
Platform: The congressional priorities listed on Britt’s campaign website include reducing the cost of health care and improving rural hospitals. She also wants to guarantee access to student loans and would like to improve pay and accountability of companies in how they manage their employees. Britt is in favor of streamlining the grant process for public schools and improve teacher pay, while also providing continuing education for them. She opposes the border wall and supports DACA.
Britt first ran for office in 2018, coming in third in the Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District. She formerly served in the Marine Corps and holds a degree in sociology from the University of Central Oklahoma. Britt is a member of the LGBTQ community, which she mentioned more frequently in her 2018 campaign.
Abby Broyles (D)
Town: Oklahoma City
Occupation: Former TV journalist, attorney
Platform: Broyles’ campaign has been directed primarily against Inhofe, who she says has been in office for too long and is out of touch with the Oklahomans he represents.
Broyles favors closing the gender pay gap, providing access to affordable health care for all Americans, addressing climate change and implementing a common sense approach to firearms. Her website also says she will fight against military base closures and for improving conditions for Oklahoma’s farmers.
Broyles formerly worked as a journalist at KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, commonly known as Channel 4, which broadcasts across central and western Oklahoma. She holds a law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law and passed the bar exam in 2019.
Joe Cassity (D)
Town: Ponca City
Occupation: Retired teacher, attorney
Platform: Cassity is a former teacher and a member of the Oklahoma Education Association. He supports unions, civil rights and women’s rights, according to his Facebook page.
Cassity served for more than two decades in the United States Army Reserve and is a member of the VFW. He last ran for public office in 1970.
U.S. Jim Inhofe (R, incumbent)
Profession: Former mayor of Tulsa, former congressman, current incumbent senator
Platform: Inhofe bills himself as “Oklahoma’s Conservative” on his website. He was first elected to the Senate in a 1994 special election after the resignation of U.S. David Boren. In recent years, Inhofe has been one of President Donald Trump’s most ardent defenders on Capitol Hill.
The 85-year-old is running as a proponent of aggressive measures to curb illegal immigration. He is also one of the Senate’s most outspoken opponents to environmental regulation and has vowed to fight the “Green New Deal” if re-elected. Inhofe has also worked to reverse cuts to military spending under previous presidential administrations, and he voted for the Trump administration tax cut in 2018.
Inhofe is an Army veteran. His website also notes that “Inhofe became the only member of Congress to fly an airplane around the world when he recreated Wiley Post’s legendary trip around the globe.”
Earlier this year, Inhofe was one of four U.S. senators whose stock trades following a January briefing on COVID-19 were scrutinized by officials.
Neil Mavis (R)
Profession: WiFi engineer
Platform: Mavis is a former Libertarian. He is in favor of congressional term limits and would like to see bankruptcy laws changed as a way to address student loan debt, according to his website. Mavis is in favor of cracking down on the power of government to seize assets and conduct warrantless searches. He would also like to see tougher penalties for what he describes as insider trading by members of Congress.
Mavis’s career has been in telecommunications. His website lists his motivations for pursuing political office as “freedom” and “US Constitutional Law.”
J.J. Stitt (R)
Occupation: Farmer, firearm business owner, former Kingfisher County Sheriff’s Department deputy.
Platform: Stitt’s website calls him “the strongest 2nd Amendment candidate to ever come forward” and touts his 17-year career in law enforcement.
Stitt told the Tulsa World that if elected he would promote health insurance reform with the aim of giving individuals broader choices. He also favors construction of a wall along the border with Mexico, but he would like to make it easier for people to come to the United States legally.
Stitt is a third-generation farmer. His website notes that Gov. Kevin Stitt is only a distant relation, saying, “JJ and Kevin are distant cousins that are not, nor ever have been close.”
John Tompkins (R)
Tompkins does not have a campaign website or any public policy positions that can be found online.
Joan Farr (I)
Occupation: Business owner
Platform: Farr’s website calls her “a huge Trump supporter,” adding that she “will switch to Republican if elected, just missed the deadline for converting prior.” Farr’s website says she would want to take a poll of voters before voting on any congressional bills. She has proposed a debt-reduction plan wherein a middle-class or poor family that agrees to stop doing drugs, smoking, gambling and drinking for one year would have their personal debt paid by a “rich person.” The proposal would involve monitoring participants with a surveillance device, and those who complete the program would receive a “certificate signed by the president.”
April Nesbit (I)
Occupation: Educator and scientist
Platform: Nesbit is running on a platform of children’s advocacy and financial security for American citizens. She supports efforts to make sure children have adequate food, health care and family care. She also favors policies that would help to stabilize health care costs for workers.
Robert Murphy (L)
Platform: Murphy joined the Libertarian Party in 1975 and has run for office more than a dozen times, “for Mayor, for Congress, and for the US Senate,” according to a post on the Cleveland County Libertarians Facebook page. The page also says, “he was probably the first ever Oklahoma political candidate to advocate the legalization of marijuana, in the 1980 Tulsa mayoral election.” He does not appear to have an official campaign website or social media accounts.
(Update: This article was updated at 2:22 Friday, June 26, to include additional information about Robert Murphy.)