OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, 85, a fixture in Oklahoma politics for more than 50 years, announced Thursday that he intends to seek another six-year term in office.
Inhofe told The Associated Press this week that his close relationship with President Donald Trump and his seniority on two key Senate committees are the main reasons he’s running again.
“He (Trump) has done an incredibly great job, and I’m very, very close personally with him, and that upsets a lot of people, but I am, and he does call with regularity,” Inhofe said of the president.
Inhofe’s decision is not much of a surprise, since he’s raised more than $2 million in campaign funds. Two Democrats and one Republican have filed paperwork indicating plans to run against Inhofe, including former television reporter Abby Broyles, a Democrat who has raised about $63,000, the most of any challenger.
Formal candidate filing is next month.
Inhofe rejected the idea that he’s too old to run for another term, joking that he can still fly his airplane upside down.
“I have three reasons that I’m running, and those three reasons don’t seem to be affected by my age,” he said.
Inhofe currently serves as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a role he says is critical to ensuring the state’s five military installations remain open. He also is the senior member on the Environment and Public Works Committee.