OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe announced in a news conference Friday afternoon that he will retire from the U.S. Senate effective January 3, 2023. Sen. Inhofe also publicly endorsed Luke Holland for U.S. Senate, who is his current Chief of Staff.
Sen. Inhofe joined the news conference via a phone call due to a, “mild case of Covid,” per Holland.
“Kay and I will be leaving the United States Senate in January of the coming year,” said Sen. Inhofe. “I will be endorsing Luke Holland to replace me. He’s the one who’s qualified to do it and he’s one that I have no doubt in my mind can win.”
Sen. Inhofe cited that he and his wife are ready to step away from public service and enjoy a life of normalcy.
“My wife and I’ve been doing this for a long period of time and we have some other things we need to be doing at this point in our lives and so we’re going to do that, and to do that we have to get out of this position and join the ranks of all the rest of you who are out there making a living,” said Sen. Inhofe.
Sen. Inhofe stated Friday that Holland has, “run the show,” for several years, and therefore will be the right fit to take over.
“Now, it’s important for us to understand that I have one individual, Luke Holland, who’s been not just a good friend of mine for a long period of time, but a very, very knowledgeable person who has been really kind of running our office for a long time…” said Sen. Inhofe. “So I will be leaving office at precisely the same time that he will be gaining office, because he has to, of course, run for office during that time. I’m endorsing Luke Holland and I believe he is the one who without question is the best qualified to carry this out.”
Holland has served as Sen. Inhofe’s Chief of Staff since February 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In a media release sent Friday morning, Holland is touted as a fourth generation Oklahoman with conservative values.
Lawmakers including Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03), Congresswoman Stephanie Bice (OK-05) and Governor Kevin Stitt have also released statements regarding Sen. Inhofe’s retirement.
Sen. Inhofe was elected to serve another six year term in 2020.
Some names of other potential replacements for Sen. Inhofe include Former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, T.W. Shannon, U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Tulsa and U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, among others.