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Lankford Heavily Favored to Win US Senate Seat


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — James Lankford is poised to cap a meteoric rise from director of a Christian youth camp to Oklahoma's junior U.S. senator.

The 46-year-old two-term U.S. House member with a reputation as being a workhorse and policy wonk is the Republican nominee and heavy favorite on Tuesday to win the seat being vacated early by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn.

Lankford faces Democratic nominee state Senator Connie Johnson and independent Mark Beard, both of Oklahoma City.

Voting trends over the last decade in Oklahoma support Republicans, especially in races for federal offices.

Lankford also enjoys a huge fundraising advantage, with the latest campaign finance reports showing a 30-to-1 advantage in total receipts.

Johnson is a 10-year veteran of the Oklahoma Senate who supports abortion rights, gay rights and marijuana legalization.