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James Lankford


James Lankford

James Lankford
United States Senator-elect
from Oklahoma
Taking office
January 3, 2015
Succeeding Tom Coburn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Mary Fallin
Succeeded by Steve Russell (elect)
Personal details
Born James Paul Lankford
(1968-03-04) March 4, 1968
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cindy Lankford
Children Hannah
Alma mater University of Texas, Austin
Southwestern Baptist
Theological Seminary
Religion Christianity
Website House website
Official website

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

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.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Camp Program Director 2
  • U.S. House of Representatives 3
    • 2010 election 3.1
    • 2012 election 3.2
    • Committee assignments 3.3
    • Tenure 3.4
    • Legislation sponsored 3.5
  • 2014 United States Senate election 4
  • Personal life 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and education

Lankford was born March 4, 1968 in Dallas, Texas,[6] the son of Linda Joyce (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. James’ 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. She 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 master’s degree in Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1994.[1]

Camp Program Director

After graduating, he moved to Edmond and 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.[3][1][6]

Republican Primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford 18,755 33.6%
Republican Kevin Calvey 18,143 32.5%
Republican Mike Thompson 10,007 17.9%
Republican Harry Johnson 686 1.2%
Republican Rick Flanigan 762 1.4%
Republican Johnny Roy 1,548 2.8%
Republican Shane Jett 5,955 10.7%
Totals ' 100%
Republican Primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford 29,814 65.2%
Republican Kevin Calvey 15,899 32.7%
Totals ' 100%

Lankford defeated Billy Coyle.

General Election results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford 123,223 62.53%
Democratic Billy Coyle 68,060 34.53%
Libertarian Clark Duffe 3,066 1.56%
Independent Dave White 2,728 1.38%
Totals ' 100%

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.

Committee assignments



Lankford supports simple budget austerity through lowering taxes and reducing government spending.[11] He took the taxpayer protection pledge promising to support no new taxes.[11] He supports the repeal of the income and estate taxes and supports a sales tax to tax consumption and not savings or earnings.[11]


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.[11] He also supports a balanced budget amendment and voted to terminate the Home Affordable mortgage Program.[11]


He supports compensatory time-off for overtime workers and received a 100% rating by the CEI, indicating a pro-workplace choice stance.[11]

Gun Rights

Lankford supports loosening restrictions on interstate gun purchases.[11] 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.[11]

Homeland Security

Lankford supports extending the Patriot Act and expanding roving wiretaps occurring in the US.[11] Lankford supports the prioritization of security, starting with military bases.[11]


He supports expanding exploration of gas and oil both domestically and on the outer continental shelf.[11] He opposes the EPA regulating emission standards as he believes it hinders economic growth.[11]


In addition to barring the EPA from regulating emission standards, Lankford believes manure and other fertilizers should not be classified as pollutants or hazardous.[11]


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.[11] He supported an initiative to allow Medicare choice and also institute budget cuts.[11]


Lankford opposes abortion.[11] He supports banning all federally funded abortions and believes Congress should recognize life at the moment of fertilization.[11] He opposes any federally funded healthcare or coverage programs that allow for abortion, as well as Planned Parenthood and other similar groups.[11] He also opposes forced abortions by the UN Population Fund.[11]

Legislation sponsored

  • Taxpayers Right-To-Know Act (H.R. 1423; 113th Congress) - Lankford introduced this bill into the House on April 9, 2013.[12] The bill would require government agencies to identify and describe each program they administer, the cost to administer those programs, expenditures for services, the number of program beneficiaries, and the number of federal employees and contract staff involved.[13] It would also require information on how the program gets evaluated.[14] On February 25, 2014, the House voted to pass the bill by a voice vote.[14]

2014 United States Senate election

In January 2014, Lankford announced he would run in the 2014 special Senate election to succeed retiring Republican Senator Tom Coburn.[15] Lankford won the June 2014 Republican primary, defeating former state House speaker T.W. Shannon and former state senator Randy Brogdon.[16] Lankford won the Oklahoma Senate seat defeating Constance N. Johnson.

Personal life

Lankford has been married to his wife, Cindy, for 20 years.[2] They have two daughters: Hannah and Jordan.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e  
  2. ^ a b c "Biography | Congressman James Lankford". Lankford House website. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  3. ^ a b Casteel, Chris (November 3, 2010). "Oklahoma elections: Republican James Lankford wins race to succeed Mary Fallin".   (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b "About | James Lankford". Retrieved 2013-02-16. 
  5. ^ McCalmont, Lucy (January 20, 2014). "James Lankford announces Senate bid". Politico. 
  6. ^ a b c Ryan, John (October 27, 2010). "James Lankford (R)".  
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Scott, RBH. "Our Campaigns - Candidate - James Lankford". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  10. ^ "Committees and Caucuses". Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "James Lankford (Republican, district 5)". On the Issues. 
  12. ^ "H.R. 1423 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "CBO - H.R. 1423". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Kasperowicz, Pete (25 February 2014). "House slaps IRS on targeting, transparency". The Hill. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  15. ^ McCalmont, Lucy (January 20, 2014). "James Lankford announces Senate bid". Politico. 
  16. ^ Parti, Tarini (24 June 2014). "James Lankford wins Okla. GOP Senate nomination outright". Politico. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 

External links

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
Chairperson of House Republican Policy Committee
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Tom Coburn
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Oklahoma
(Class 3)

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