Anti-Islamic ex-lawmaker named Oklahoma GOP chairman

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FILE – Former state representative John Bennett was named Oklahoma GOP chairman Saturday, April 10, 2021. (KFOR)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former state representative with a reputation for anti-Islamic rhetoric has been elected chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party.

Former state Rep. John Bennett won a first-ballot majority Saturday against three contenders.

Vice-chairman Shane Jemison was reelected to a new term.

Bennett is a Sallisaw Marine Corps veteran who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan four terms in the Oklahoma House.

He helped form a House caucus in 2013, citing concern that Islamic law might be substituted for the U.S. Constitution, and has said Islam is a “cancer in our nation that needs to be cut out.”

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