OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Former Oklahoma Attorney General and embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Scott Pruitt has filed to run for Jim Inhofe’s US Senate seat that will be vacant upon his retirement at the beginning of next term.

This special election will be held to fill the remaining four years of incumbent Republican Senator Jim Inhofe’s fifth term.

Sen. Inhofe was elected to serve another six year term in 2020, but in late February 2022, Sen. Inhofe announced his retirement, effective January 3, 2023.

Several Oklahoma politicians have thrown their hat into the ring, including Republican State Senator Nathan Dahm, Sen. Inhofe’s Chief of Staff Luke Holland, Republican US Representative Markwayne Mullin, and former Democratic US Representative Kendra Horn.

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Now, former Oklahoma Attorney General and Trump-era Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is joining the race.

Pruitt resigned from his Attorney General position in 2017 after then President-elect Donald Trump picked him to lead the the Environmental Protection Agency.

After a year and a half, Pruitt resigned as EPA Administrator in July 2018 after he incurred a sizable number of investigations into his spending and practices at EPA, including inquiries by the House, Senate, the EPA itself and the White House. in the days, weeks and months following Pruitt’s confirmation, scandals built, among them: an unprecedented 24/7 security detail, first-class air travel, a trip to Morocco arranged by a friend and lobbyist, an upgrade lease for a high-end SUV, a soundproof phone booth, bio-metric locks and sweeping for listening devices in his office. All told, Pruitt has spent nearly $4 million in taxpayer money.

In his resignation letter to President Trump, Pruitt touted “the transformative work that is occurring,” but said he was stepping down because of “unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.”

His resignation came just day after CNN reported that an EPA whistleblower said Pruitt and his aides have kept “secret” calendars and schedules to hide meetings or calls with industry representatives.

In a brief interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Pruitt said he “led with conviction in Washington, D.C.” and chalked up the criticism against him as resulting from leading an agency that was the “Holy Grail of the American left.”

“And I made a difference in the face of that,” Pruitt said. “I think Oklahomans know when the New York Times and CNN and MSNBC and those places are against you, Oklahomans are for you.”

The primary election for US Senator will be held June 28, 2022.

All of the statewide elected offices are up for grabs this cycle, including governor and lieutenant governor, as well as 24 of the 48 state Senate seats and all 101 state House seats.

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