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7:02 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Oklahoma Republicans Pick Challenger over Sullivan

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Navy pilot Jim Bridenstine has defeated five-term incumbent John Sullivan to capture the Republican nomination in Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District.

Bridenstine, who had tea party backing, is a political newcomer who ran a campaign that attempted to paint Sullivan as a career politician who had grown out of touch with working-class Oklahomans. He also criticized Sullivan for missing votes; the incumbent missed votes in 2009 while being treated for alcoholism.

Both men squabbled over Sullivan's voting record, who held the more important job in the private sector and which one would be the most conservative candidate for the job.

Bridenstine will now face small business owner John Olson, a Democrat, and Independent Craig Allen, an airline pilot. They'll both be on the 1st District ballot in November.