OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin will run for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Sen. Jim Inhofe.

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Markwayne Mullin

Mullin, OK-02, announced on his Facebook page that he is running for Senate.

“I’ve been getting a lot of calls asking me if I’m going to run for United States Senate,” he said in a video recorded while he was driving to his sons’ high school wrestling tournament in Oklahoma City. “I’m not one to beat around the bush. I’m just going to tell you the way it is. I’m in. I’m not one to back away from a fight; in fact, I believe 100 percent if you’re going to get into a fight, you win it. So, we’re in it to win it.”

The following announcement video is courtesy of Mullin’s campaign team:

Mullin, a Tulsa native, was a businessman and professional mixed martial artist prior to being elected as a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012.

Inhofe announced Friday that he is leaving office Jan. 3, 2023, ending a political career that dates back to 1967.

Image of Jim Inhofe
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 13: U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) speaks to reporters following Senate Republican Policy luncheons at the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on April 13, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

Inhofe, 87, made the announcement over the phone at the Oklahoma History Center due to having a “mild case of COVID.”

Luke Holland, who was Inhofe’s chief of staff, is also running for the seat. Holland resigned from the chief of staff position to run for the Senate seat.

Inhofe endorsed Holland to be his successor.

“Sir, thank you so much for your service to the state,” Holland said. “Thank you so much for your endorsement. I can’t think of anyone who I would be more honored to have the endorsement of than you.”

U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern, OK-01, has left the door open to a potential run.

Both Gov. Kevin Stitt and U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, OK-03, said they will not run to replace Inhofe.

A special election will be held in November 2022.