Oklahoma Republican Luke Holland is using the first television advertisement of his Senate campaign to pray for spiritual renewal in the United States as he seeks to stand out in a crowded primary.
The 30-second spot, crafted by Republican media strategist Fred Davis, eschews the common, straight-to-camera style common in which the candidate speaks directly to the voters. Instead, the Holland campaign’s introductory advertisement features the candidate driving a Ford pickup truck and interacting with prominent supporter and former boss Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) while reciting a "prayer for America" — addressed to God.
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The Holland campaign shared the ad with the Washington Examiner on Tuesday, saying it was investing “significant” resources to air the spot statewide on broadcast and cable television stations.
The Republican Senate primary in Oklahoma is four weeks away. Inhofe, who is Davis's uncle, is leaving his Senate seat with four years left on his term. Inhofe, 87, first won the Senate seat in 1994.
“Lord, look at this place. Parents kicked out of schools. Paying people not to work. They even shut down my church,” Holland says as the spot opens. “Things are happening today that have never happened before. I know you’re still there. We just need more people to know you and be your friend. I’m here; guide us back.”
Inhofe’s decision to resign at year’s end triggered this contest, a special election being held the same day as the primary to renominate Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), who is up for reelection this year. Holland, Inhofe’s former chief of staff, is joined in the special GOP primary by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), state Sen. Nathan Dahm, former state House speaker T.W. Shannon, and Alex Gray, a former national security official in former President Donald Trump’s administration.
Gray has been endorsed by many former Trump administration officials.
The Holland campaign said that its unorthodox first advertisement is an authentic reflection of the candidate and what is driving his Senate campaign. It’s hardly an unusual approach in the context of the socially conservative values that motivate Oklahoma Republicans.
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This month, the state approved one of the most stringent abortion bans in the country; the law prohibits the procedure after fertilization.