Connie Johnson Becomes Oklahoma’s 1st Black Female U.S. Senate Candidate

Source: Rick Green/ The Oklahoman

State Sen. Connie Johnson easily defeated perennial candidate Jim Rogers in a primary runoff Tuesday to determine the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

“We’re going to be able to try and help the people of Oklahoma, all the people of Oklahoma,” she said. “And that’s what this victory is, it’s a victory for the people.”

Johnson, of Oklahoma City, had 54,728 votes (58 percent) to 39,649 votes (42 percent) for Rogers, of Midwest City.

Johnson will face U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, in the general election. They are vying to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, who is stepping down two years early because of health concerns.

Johnson, who was elected as a state senator in 2005, is backing a recreational marijuana initiative. Supporters are trying to collect enough voter signatures to place it on a statewide ballot. She also is a longtime supporter of abortion rights.

Oklahoma hasn’t had a Democratic U.S. senator since David Boren left the Senate in 1994.

Lankford congratulated Johnson, saying “now it is time for each candidate to articulate their solutions for the future of our state and nation.”