U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin topped T.W. Shannon in Tuesday’s Republican runoff election for Oklahoma’s U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jim Inhofe.
Mullin finished with about 65 percent of the vote, cashing his ticket to advance to November’s general election against Kendra Horn, the former Democratic representative of Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District. (Libertarian Robert Murphy and independent Ray Woods will also be on the Nov. 8 ballot.)
Mullin took to Facebook to celebrate his runoff victory.
“Christie and I want to thank Oklahoma voters for delivering a massive win for our campaign tonight. Our overwhelming victory is a testament to the hard work of so many volunteers, friends, and supporters who believe in our fight to Save America, and I am so grateful for their outstanding effort,” Mullin wrote. “To change Washington, D.C., we must change the resumes we send to represent us. It’s clear that Oklahoma is ready to send a conservative fighter to Washington, D.C. to take on the far-left Socialists who are threatening our way of life. Tonight’s victory is a big win for Oklahoma, but our fight has just begun.”
Mullin (R-OK2) was first elected to Congress in 2012, winning an open contest for Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District in eastern Oklahoma. Although he initially pledged to serve only three terms, Mullin is completing his fifth term representing CD 2, during which time he has served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
A citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Mullin is one of five Indigenous Americans currently serving in Congress. A total of six were elected to the U.S. House in 2020, but New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland became U.S. secretary of the interior for President Joe Biden.
Shannon, a former speaker of the Oklahoma House, is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and works as CEO of Chickasaw Community Bank.
Mullin is from Westville, a small community in Adair County near the Arkansas border, and he became the president of Mullin Plumbing in 1997, according to his LinkedIn.
A former mixed martial arts fighter, Mullin made headlines during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol when he stood just behind security guards near a door that was blocking rioters from entering the House chamber. The next year, in 2021, he attempted to travel to Afghanistan when the U.S. withdrew forces from the country. During that saga, he clashed with U.S. officials, saying a diplomat “was not helpful at all” with his effort to get cash into the country and get American citizens out of the country.
If elected in November, Mullin would be the first Native American Senator since Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Northern Cheyenne politician who served Colorado in the Senate from 1993 to 2005.
Horn: ‘I hope the nominee is brave enough to debate me in the general election’
Horn released a statement early Tuesday morning, saying she hoped “the nominee is brave enough to debate me” in November:
Good luck to Markwayne Mullin and TW Shannon in today’s runoff. I hope the nominee is brave enough to debate me in the general election. Tonight I will be in Lawton for my 57th town in the last few years. Real Oklahomans aren’t afraid of tough conversations, real Oklahomans show up when things are hard.
I have been traveling across this state talking to Oklahomans and they are tired of the extremism and division. I have proven myself time and again to be accessible, reasonable, and responsible.
In two years I had 25 bills signed into law in a divided congress and that takes persistence, bipartisanship, and the willingness to stay at the table to get things done. That’s who I am, that’s what Oklahomans need. I look forward to having this conversation with whoever wins tonight.