Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) may not be in for a cakewalk in his bid to serve the remaining two years of Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) term. His conservative primary opponent, former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, is gaining momentum.
Early polls indicated that Lankford was the odds on favorite to win the June 24 Republican Senate primary. An early February poll conducted by Harper Polling, for example, found Lankford with a 27-point lead over Shannon.
But the race looks like its shifting. Sarah Palin endorsed Shannon in mid-March and a poll from an outside group backing the insurgent conservative’s campaign showed that he had narrowed the gap to single digits.
Senate Conservatives Fund is hoping that it can keep the momentum in Shannon’s corner. The organization, known for challenging the status quo, announced on Thursday it is backing Shannon in the Republican primary.
“T.W. Shannon is a constitutional conservative who will fight to stop the massive spending and debt that are bankrupting our country,” said Matt Hoskins, executive director of Senate Conservatives Fund. “T.W. Shannon believes in the principles of freedom that make this country great and will stand up to the big spenders in both parties to balance the budget and stop Obamacare.”
In an email blast to supporters, Second Conservatives Fund pointed to Shannon’s support for a balanced budget amendment, repeal of Obamacare, and term limits for members of Congress. The organization also noted that he opposes earmarks and bailouts.
“We’re supporting T.W. Shannon because he’s a principled conservative,” said Hoskins, “he has strong grassroots support in Oklahoma, and he can win if Americans come together to support his campaign.”
In addition to Palin and Senate Conservatives Fund, Shannon has been endorsed by RedState’s Erick Erickson and talk show host Mark Levin.
This is the sixth endorsement Senate Conservatives Fund has announced for the 2014 election cycle. The organization has also backed Ben Sasse for the open Senate seat in Nebraska as well three conservative primary challengers, including Chris McDaniel, who is taking on Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).