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Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma GOP U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Cherokee Nation, said he will run for the U.S. Senate seat that is coming open after Sen. Jim Inhofe’s surprise announcement that he’s retiring before his term is up.

Mullin said in a video message Saturday that he planned to enter the race, as expected political shake-ups begin.

“I’m just going to tell you the way it is. I’m in,” he said in the video, which appeared to be recorded as he was driving. “I’m not one to back away from a fight. In fact, I believe 100% if you’re going to get in a fight, you win it. So we’re in it to win it.”

Mullin, a plumbing company owner, is currently serving his fifth term representing Oklahoma’s 2nd Congressional District on the eastern side of the state. Mullin vice-chairs of the Native American caucus serves on more than 24 caucuses.

U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., speaks at a campaign rally, Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, in Flagstaff, Ariz. Until recently, Congress hasn't had many Native American members but hope is growing as the Native delegation in the U.S. House increased by two on Election Day along with four Native Americans who won reelection including Mullin who is Cherokee.(AP Photo/Matt York)

Republican state Sen. Nathan Dahm also announced Monday that he’s running for Inhofe’s seat.

Inhofe on Friday announced his endorsement of his chief of staff, Luke Holland, who is also running for the seat.

Inhofe, who was elected to a fifth Senate term in 2020, said he will continue to serve until Jan. 3, 2023. He was elected to the seat in 1994. The special election will be held concurrently with the statewide primary, runoff and general election, part of the nation’s midterms.

Oklahoma hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate since 1990, and Republicans will be heavily favored to keep Inhofe’s seat in the GOP column. Oklahoma’s three-day filing period begins April 13.

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