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Broyles Campaign Questions Inhofe's Fitness for Office as He Puts out New Attack Ad

In a new ad, Oklahoma Republican U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe continues to use rhetoric about a socialist takeover and suggests Democratic opponent Abby Broyles’ political views aren’t Oklahoman and that she should run for Senate in a different state.


Ryan Hawkins, Broyles’ chief media consultant, said Friday he and Broyles are Oklahomans and have never encountered a socialist in the state.

"You can fire a cannon and not hit a socialist. This is a complete farce, and it’s the 2005 playbook of, 'I’m going to try to scare voters,'" Hawkins said.

Hawkins believes the ad is related to a new poll showing Inhofe doesn’t have this election in the bag just yet. He leads Broyles 46 to 30, with 19% of voters undecided, a smaller margin than a different poll gave the incumbent earlier this month.

"This is a referendum on whether or not voters want Jim Inhofe. So, I would also look at a historic preference on the polling … he sees the same thing, or else he would not be out with an attack ad today. This is almost the exact same position that Kendra Horn was in, in Oklahoma City," Hawkins said.

Broyles continues to call for a debate. Inhofe has not debated an opponent since 2008, and Hawkins said their campaign is trying to get their message out through social media and as many virtual events as possible.

In an ad released earlier this month, Broyles' campaign questioned Inhofe's fitness to remain in the Senate.

"What we honestly believe about this race is that he’s too damn old for the job. His physical and mental abilities are declining. His cognitive awareness is not there," Hawkins said Friday.

In a statement, Inhofe Campaign Manager Evan Handy accused Broyles of only making ageist attacks against Inhofe.

"Oklahomans are too smart to be fooled: she’s a radical liberal, despite her contortionist efforts to avoid taking a policy position," Handy said.

Broyles lists several policy positions on her website, including closing the gender pay gap and ending policies that hurt small farmers.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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