Oklahoma Republicans close ranks around Dr Tom Coburn

Wednesday, July 28th 2004, 10:51 am
By: News On 6

The day after the Republican primary for US Senate, the 2nd place finisher says he's joined forces with the winner to defeat Democrat Brad Carson.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says it seems like only a few days ago that Kirk Humphreys didn't have much good to say about Tom Coburn - but Wednesday he's turned the corner and says he would completely trust Coburn to represent Oklahoma in the US Senate.

Humphreys and Coburn - along with US Senators Inhofe and Nickles all now say they're united as the race shifts to Republican versus Democrat.

This seat is one of the few competitive Senate races in the country - so Republicans expect a battle in the fall. Kirk Humphreys: "To all my supporters -- thanks for your support, let’s get behind Tom Coburn. I didn't come this far to see Brad Carson as Oklahoma's next Senator."

Bob Anthony wasn't in on Wednesday's reconciliation meeting.

US Senator Jim Inhofe - who will have to work with whoever is elected - predicted this race would be a top priority for Democrats who know Carson is competitive and could take the seat from Republicans.

Brad Carson responded to all this Republican unity by noting it's a switch for the Republican leadership to support Coburn. Carson's campaign spokesman said it was putting partisan politics above the interest of the state.

The News on 6 is planning a debate between the candidates later in the fall as we continue to cover Campaign 2004.