Monday, July 26, 2010

With Hours Left, The Talk Is About James Lankford

With less than 24 hours to go before voters head to the polls in the 5th District Republican primary, much of the conversation among analysts and observers is about political newcomer James Lankford and how well he'll do when the votes are counted.

Democrat Ben Odom, commenting on the GOP race during a discussion with KTOK's Reid Mullins and Republican State Chairman Matt Pinnell, highlighted Lankford as the candidate to watch in Tuesday's voting.

Lankford, former director of the Falls Creek Youth Camp, entered the race as a total unknown. He parlayed his long affiliation with Falls Creek and contacts with attendees and their families into a strong Internet presence and counts 16,000 "Friends" on Facebook. That's far more than any of the other candidates in the race.

Lankford has used the Internet effectively; the image here is being transmitted to friends of his supporters today.

Kevin Calvey, most polls show, leads in the race. Calvey, former House member and Army veteran of JAG service in Iraq, sought the party nomination in the past.

Rep. Mike Thompson has the support of the business community, based on his finance reports. The polls show him in third place, behind Calvey and Lankford.

Rep. Shane Jett of Tecumseh entered the race late, and shows a distant fourth in the polls.

With seven candidates in the race, a runoff is almost a certainty and it's likely the candidates will be Calvey and Lankford. As of Monday, the talk in the race is about Lankford.

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