Shannon Senate Bid from Oklahoma Draws Outside Support

Photograph by Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo

Speaker of the Oklahoma House T.W. Shannon, right, greets Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, left, during a joint session of the legislature in Oklahoma City on Feb. 3, 2014.

Oklahoma Republican T.W. Shannon is getting help for his Senate campaign in one of the nation’s most Republican states.

Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, an Oklahoma City-based group, is paying for television ads and mail promoting Shannon, a former state House Speaker and the first black person to hold that position.

Shannon is a “champion” opposing abortion and supporting gun owners’ rights and was the “most conservative House Speaker in Oklahoma history,” a narrator says in an ad that began running yesterday on Tulsa’s NBC affiliate, according to Kantar Media’s CMAG. Shannon worked to overhaul welfare programs and cut taxes, the ad says.

“And we know T.W. Shannon will fight to finally end Obamacare,” the narrator concludes.

Oklahomans for a Conservative Future was formed Feb. 5 as a “domestic for profit business corporation,” according to a filing with the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office.

The group paid $101,628 on March 1 for pro-Shannon direct-mail to the Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida-based firm Majority Strategies, Oklahomans for a Conservative Future said in a filing to the Federal Election Commission.

Shannon’s campaign aired 30-second and 60-second versions of a positive and mostly biographical ad 224 times from Feb. 19 to March 2, CMAG data show.

Shannon is competing with two-term Rep. James Lankford and former state Sen. Randy Brogdon for the Republican nomination in the first-round June 24 primary. Lankford had $515,000 in his House campaign account at the end of 2013, money that he can use on a Senate campaign. Republican Sen. Tom Coburn is vacating the seat next January, two years before his current term was to expire.

The Republican nominee will be overwhelmingly favored to win the Nov. 4 special election in Oklahoma, where President Barack Obama’s 33 percent vote share in the 2012 election was his third-worst showing among the 50 states.

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