Oklahoma City ( Associated Press) — Republican Scott Pruitt, the scandal-ridden former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, filed Friday to run for Oklahoma’s open U.S. Senate seat.
Pruitt, 53, a former state senator and Oklahoma attorney general who was tapped by former President Donald Trump To lead EPA, seeking seat to be vacated By longtime Republican US Sen. Jim Inhofe.
pruitt got down as EPA administrator in 2018 amid a wave of ethics scandals, including living in a bargain-priced Capitol Hill condo Tied to an energy lobbyist. He also faced ethics checks on pricey trips with first class airline seats. and unusual security expenses, including a $43,000 soundproof booth To make private phone calls. He also demanded round-the-clock security from the armed officers, which resulted in a 20-member security cordon. l Which blew through the overtime budget and cost over $3 million.
Like Trump, Pruitt was a staunch supporter of continued use of coal and other fossil fuels, expressed skepticism about mainstream climate science and was a fierce critic of the Paris climate agreement. Trump praised Pruitt’s steps to boost fossil fuel production and roll back regulations opposed by corporate interests. After leaving the agency, Pruitt registered as an energy lobbyist. in Indiana.
In a brief interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Pruitt said he “led with conviction in Washington, D.C.” and drew criticism against him as a result of leading an agency that calls “the Holy Grail of the American Left.” sand”.
“And I made a difference to his face,” Pruitt said. “I think Oklahomans know that when the New York Times and Nation World News and MSNBC and those places are against you, Oklahomans are there for you.”
Pruitt will face a crowded GOP primary field to replace Inhofe, 87, who rocked Oklahoma politics with his announcement that he would step down in January, just two years into his six-year term. Ten Republican candidates have applied to run for the seat, including U.S. Rep. Markwen Mullin, former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, Inhofe’s longtime Chief of Staff Luke Holland, State Sen. Nathan Dahm and Alex Gray, former Chief of Staff. Staff are included. National Security Council under Trump.
Former Democratic US Representative Kendra Horn He was the only Democrat to have filed for the seat as of Friday afternoon, the last day of the three-day candidate filing period.
Because of Inhofe’s announcement, both Oklahoma’s US Senate seats are set to grab this cycle. Current US Sen. James Lankford is seeking another six-year term. Lankford will face Tulsa pastor Jackson Lahmeyer In the GOP primary. Four Democrats, a moderate and an independent also sought the post this week.
The most competitive US House race is expected to be for the open second congressional seat in eastern Oklahoma being vacated by Mullin. At least 13 candidates, 12 Republicans and an independent have applied for that position.
All statewide elected offices are set to hold this cycle, including the governor and lieutenant governor, as well as 24 of the 48 state Senate seats and all 101 state House seats.