One Republican Senator is about to leave the seat he held since 1994 with four years remaining in his term. Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma is stepping down at the end of this Congress, according to reports.

Inhofe, 87 announced his decision on Friday and endorsed his replacement Luke Holland, 35. He said that Holland was the “most qualified” to replace him to carry on his legacy.

Here’s an excerpt from CNN report:

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, a leading conservative Republican and veteran of the Senate, is expected to announce in the coming days that he will cut short his six-year term and retire near the end of 2022, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Inhofe, 87, is a defense hawk who serves as the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He is also a former chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, where he drew the ire of environmentalists over his denunciations of climate change as a “hoax.”

Inhofe, whose Senate career started after his 1994 victory, won reelection as recently as 2020, and had already planned to make his current term his last. But his resignation would likely spark a furious GOP battle for a seat to represent one of the nation’s most conservative states.

If Inhofe makes his announcement by March 1, he’ll trigger an election this November for his successor to serve for the rest of his term through 2026.

Mr. Inhofe has been vociferous in his support for a muscular American military presence around the globe. Intent on increasing the nation’s defense budget, he is seen as a hawkish guardian of one of Congress’s key responsibilities: passing the annual defense policy bill. In 2020, he led his party in a rare break from President Donald J. Trump to pass the crucial legislation over the president’s objections.

Sources: The Gateway Pundit, Edition CNN, New York Times, News On 6, ABC News

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