James Lankford

James Lankford
United States Senator
from Oklahoma
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Serving with Jim Inhofe
Preceded by Tom Coburn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 5th district
In office
January 3, 2011  January 3, 2015
Preceded by Mary Fallin
Succeeded by Steve Russell
Personal details
Born James Paul Lankford
(1968-03-04) March 4, 1968
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cindy Lankford
Children 2
Alma mater University of Texas, Austin (BS)
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv)
Website Senate website
Campaign website

James Paul Lankford (born March 4, 1968) is an American politician who is the junior United States Senator from Oklahoma. A member of the Republican Party,[1][2] he served as the U.S. Representative for Oklahoma's 5th congressional district[3] from 2011 to 2015.

From 1996 to 2009, Lankford was the student ministries and evangelism specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and he was director of the Falls Creek youth programming at the Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center in Davis, Oklahoma. He stepped down on September 1, 2009, to run for Congress.[4]

In January 2014, Lankford announced he would run in the 2014 special Senate election to succeed Tom Coburn.[5] He subsequently won the June 2014 primary with 57% of the vote, becoming the Republican nominee for the November election. He would go on to win with nearly 68% of the vote.

Early life and education

Lankford was born March 4, 1968 in Dallas, Texas,[6] the son of Linda Joyce (née House) and James Wesley Lankford.[7][8] His mother was an elementary school librarian.[1] His maternal grandparents owned a small dry cleaning business, his father and paternal grandparents a dairy farm. His stepfather was a career employee of AC Delco, the parts division of General Motors.[9]

His parents divorced when he was four; his mother and older brother and he lived for a time in his grandparents' garage apartment. He became a Christian at eight. His mother remarried when he was twelve, and the family moved to Garland with his stepfather.[1] Lankford attended Lakeview Centennial High School in Garland. While at Lakeview Lankford participated in the Close Up Washington civic education program. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education (specializing in Speech and History) at University of Texas at Austin in 1990, and a master's degree in Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1994.[1]

Camp program director

After graduating, he moved to Edmond, a suburb of Oklahoma City, where he still lives today. He served with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. He became the program director of Falls Creek, the largest Christian camp in the U.S.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives


2010 election

After two-term incumbent Republican Mary Fallin announced she was giving up her seat to make what would be a successful run for Governor of Oklahoma, Lankford entered the race to succeed her.[6] He finished first in a seven-way Republican primary—the real contest in this heavily Republican district—and defeated former State Representative Kevin Calvey in the run off. He then routed Democrat Billy Coyle in the general election, winning with 62.53% of the popular vote.[1][3][6]

2012 election

Lankford defeated Democrat Tom Guild with 59 percent of the vote. Following the election, he was named chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, the fifth-ranking position in the House Republican caucus. This is a very senior position for a second-term House member.

Political positions


Lankford supports simple budget austerity through lowering taxes and reducing government spending.[10] He took the taxpayer protection pledge promising to support no new taxes.[10] He supports the repeal of the income and estate taxes and supports a sales tax to tax consumption and not savings or earnings.[10]


Lankford is a supporter of budget austerity and thus supports prioritizing spending if the debt limit is reached and the Cut-Cap-and-Balance Pledge.[10] He also supports a balanced budget amendment and voted to terminate the Home Affordable mortgage Program.[10]


He supports compensatory time-off for overtime workers and received a 100% rating by the CEI, indicating a pro-workplace choice stance.[10]

Gun rights

Lankford supports loosening restrictions on interstate gun purchases.[10] He opposes firearm microstamping, a controversial method of imprinting casings with a unique marking to match it with a specific firearm, and would allow veterans to register unlicensed firearms.[10]


Lankford supports extending the Patriot Act and expanding roving wiretaps occurring in the US.[10] Lankford supports the prioritization of security, starting with military bases.[10]


He supports expanding exploration of gas and oil both domestically and on the outer continental shelf.[10] He opposes the EPA regulating emission standards as he believes it hinders economic growth.[10]


In addition to barring the EPA from regulating emission standards, Lankford believes manure and other fertilizers should not be classified as pollutants or hazardous.[10]


Lankford has stated his belief that federally funded healthcare is unconstitutional and has made a statement that he will oppose any and all moves for a federal healthcare system.[10] He supported an initiative to allow Medicare choice and also institute budget cuts.[10]


Lankford opposes abortion.[10] He supports banning all federally funded abortions and believes Congress should recognize life at the moment of fertilization.[10] He opposes any federally funded healthcare or coverage programs that allow for abortion, as well as Planned Parenthood and other similar groups.[10] He also opposes forced abortions by the UN Population Fund.[10]

LGBT issues

Lankford believes marriage is a union between a man and woman. He has also stated that being gay is a choice and should not be protected from workplace discrimination. He said he believes the distinction lies in a person's choice to act on their sexual orientation.[11]


As a Representative, Lankford sponsored 20 bills, including:[12]

112th Congress (2011-2012)

113th Congress (2013-2014)

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

2014 election

In January 2014, Lankford announced he would run in the 2014 special Senate election to succeed retiring Republican Senator Tom Coburn.[5] Lankford won the June 2014 Republican primary, defeating former state House speaker T.W. Shannon and former state senator Randy Brogdon.[14] Lankford won the election for the unexpired portion of Coburn's Oklahoma U.S. Senate seat defeating retiring state senator Constance N. Johnson by a margin of 557,002, 67.9%, to Johnson's 237,923, 29.0%, with independent candidate Mark Beard collecting 25,965 votes, 3.2% of the total.[15]


Lankford was sworn into office on January 6, 2015 by Vice President Joe Biden.

Committee assignments

Personal life

Lankford has been married to his wife, Cindy, for 20 years.[2] They have two daughters: Hannah and Jordan.[2] He attends Quail Springs Baptist Church, a Southern Baptist church in Oklahoma City.[16]

Electoral history

Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District election, 2010

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford 18,760 33.58
Republican Kevin Calvey 18,147 32.48
Republican Mike Thompson 10,008 17.91
Republican Shane Jett 5,956 10.66
Republican Johnny Roy 1,548 2.77
Republican Rick Flanigan 762 1.36
Republican Harry Johnson 686 1.23
Total 55,867 100
Republican primary runoff
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford 29,817 65.22
Republican Kevin Calvey 15,902 34.78
Total 45,719 100
General election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford 123,236 62.52
Democratic Billy Coyle 68,074 34.54
Independent Clark Duffe 3,067 1.56
Independent Dave White 2,728 1.38
Total 197,105 100
Republican hold

Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District election, 2012

General election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford (inc.) 153,603 58.70
Democratic Tom Guild 97,504 37.30
Independent Pat Martin 5,394 2.10
Independent Robert Murphy 5,176 2.00
Total 261,677 100
Republican hold

U.S. Senate special election in Oklahoma, 2014

Republican primary
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford 152,749 57.20
Republican T. W. Shannon 91,854 34.40
Republican Randy Brogdon 12,934 4.80
Republican Kevin Crow 2,828 1.10
Republican Andy Craig 2,427 0.90
Republican Eric McCray 2,272 0.90
Republican Jason Weger 1,794 0.70
Total 266,858 100
General election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford 557,002 67.90
Democratic Connie Johnson 237,923 29.00
Independent Mark T. Beard 25,965 3.20
Total 820,890 100
Republican hold

U.S. Senate election in Oklahoma, 2016

General election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford (inc.)
Libertarian Robert Murphy
Democratic Mike Workman


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Barone, Michael; Chuck McCutcheon (2011). The Almanac of American Politics 2012. Washington, D.C.: National Journal Group. pp. 1331–1333. ISBN 978-0-226-03807-0.
  2. 1 2 3 "Biography | Congressman James Lankford". Lankford House website. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  3. 1 2 Casteel, Chris (November 3, 2010). "Oklahoma elections: Republican James Lankford wins race to succeed Mary Fallin". The Oklahoman. Retrieved November 13, 2013. (subscription required)
  4. 1 2 "About | James Lankford". JamesLankford.com. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
  5. 1 2 McCalmont, Lucy (January 20, 2014). "James Lankford announces Senate bid". Politico.
  6. 1 2 3 Ryan, John (October 27, 2010). "James Lankford (R)". National Journal. Archived from the original on November 7, 2010. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  7. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V88S-548
  8. http://robbinsandestes.genealogyvillage.com/house.html
  9. Scott, RBH. "Our Campaigns - Candidate - James Lankford". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 "James Lankford (Republican, district 5)". On the Issues.
  11. http://www.newson6.com/story/18424646/oklahoma-rep-james-lankford-under-fire-for-comments-on-sexual-orientation
  12. "Representative Lankford's Legislation". Library of Congress. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  13. "Committees and Caucuses". Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  14. Parti, Tarini (June 24, 2014). "James Lankford wins Okla. GOP Senate nomination outright". Politico. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  15. , Oklahoma State Elections Board, November 4, 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  16. Staff (5 January 2011). "Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps.". Baptist Press. Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mary Fallin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
Steve Russell
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Price
Chair of the House Republican Policy Committee
Succeeded by
Luke Messer
Preceded by
Tom Coburn
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Oklahoma
(Class 3)

2014, 2016
Most recent
United States Senate
Preceded by
Tom Coburn
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Oklahoma
Served alongside: Jim Inhofe
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Cory Gardner
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Tom Cotton
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/22/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.