Senator Don Nickles predicts Republican replacement

Wednesday, October 8th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PONCA CITY, Okla. (AP) -- One day after announcing plans to end his political career, Sen. Don Nickles was at his old high school, predicting his successor would be a fellow Republican.

Nickles, R-Okla., announced Tuesday that he would not seek a fifth term in the Senate.

Reps. Brad Carson, D-Okla., and Ernest Istook, R-Okla., have indicated interest in running for Nickles' seat. Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys, a Republican, also is interested in the position.

Nickles would have been a prohibitive favorite had he chosen to run again.

"Oklahoma is going to be a competitive race," he said Wednesday after speaking to history students at Ponca City High School. "I think we can hold it, but it's going to be a competitive race and a lot more expensive race from a national standpoint."

He also predicted the Republican party would maintain its narrow majority in the Senate, and perhaps pick up a couple of seats.