Ahead of Oklahoma’s June 24 GOP Senate primary, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), the top three conservative leaders in the nation, sent a letter asking Oklahomans to send conservative T.W. Shannon to the Senate over establishment Rep. James Lankford (R-OK), who will represent the status quo.
The Senate Conservatives Fund, which also made a statewide television buy on Shannon’s behalf, distributed the letter that Shannon as a “principled leader who believes America must return to its founding principles.”
“He understands that many Republicans in Washington have been too quick to cut deals with Democrats and too slow to follow the Constitution, which they swore an oath to support and defend,” Palin, Lee, and Cruz write. “As the former Speaker, he can stand proud on his record of fighting for conservative legislation that directly benefited Oklahomans by lowering taxes, cutting government waste, and breaking the cycle of poverty by encouraging self-reliance as the proven path to prosperity.”
Palin, Lee, and Cruz rallied for Shannon in April and, as they note, when Shannon “ran for Speaker of the House, the naysayers said he was too young and too conservative to win. But his colleagues chose him anyway, and he became the youngest Speaker in Oklahoma history.” Shannon also was arguably the most conservative Speaker in the state’s history and he told them, “We are suffering from a lack of conservative vision. I believe we desperately need leaders with deep convictions who will fight — and win — the battles for conservative policies.”
They also noted that Shannon’s opponent “has the backing of the Republican establishment, but T.W. has the support of the grassroots in Oklahoma and across the nation.”
An hour after Palin, Lee, and Cruz sent their letter, Shannon received nearly $200,000 in donations in his bid to replace retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).
The Senate Conservatives Fund commercial hails Shannon as being a part of “a new generation of conservative leaders” as opposed to establishment Republicans like Lankford.
“Washington insiders like James Lankford will never change Washington,” a narrator says, citing Lankford’s support for more debt. “That’s why we need T.W. Shannon.”
The narrator says that Shannon is “a reformer, looking to join the fight, not the club,” which means “no means no more Obamacare, and no more debt ceiling increases.”
New SCF President Ken Cuccinelli also touted Shannon as “Oklahoma’s conservative choice for U.S. Senate.”
“It’s time for Oklahoma Republicans to make a choice: Washington establishment candidate James Lankford or conservative reformer T.W. Shannon,” Cuccinelli said. “James Lankford is in House leadership and has voted for wasteful spending, higher taxes, and more debt. T.W. Shannon is a fighter who opposes more debt and higher taxes. The choice for Oklahoma Republicans is clear: conservative T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate.”