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June 07, 2011

Dan Boren (D OK-2) Will Not Seek Reelection, Easy GOP Pickup

Dan Boren will announce later today that he will not seek reelection in 2012, a serious blow to Democrat efforts to retake the House. Oklahoma has five seats, and this is the only one held by a Democrat. Boren, a 37 year old conservative who bucked Pelosi's leadership, won comfortably last November with 57% of the vote. Although anyone named Boren as always been a safe bet for reelection in Oklahoma--his father, David Boren, served as governor and senator--the southeastern Oklahoma district, "Little Dixie," is not safe and went for John McCain by a 2-1 margin in 2008.

From The Hill:

The decision came as a surprise to Oklahoma Democrats and threatens the party's ability to hold the Republican-leaning seat.

"I never had any idea that he was not planning to run for reelection," said Wallace Collins, the state party chairman.

The 2nd district went for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008 by more than 30 points.

Boren was one of the few Blue Dog Democrats to survive the GOP wave in 2010.

The four-term incumbent bucked his party on healthcare last year and voted against the Democrats' reform bill. He subsequently faced a primary challenge, which he easily survived. He handily won reelection in November with 57 percent of the vote.

Because of Boren, this has been regarded as an easy hold for Democrats. Now it is an easy GOP pickup. It could be that Boren is reading the tea leaves differently than most. And it could be the start of a trend for "safe" Blue Dogs. More from the Washington Post.

Update: Commenter "Quilly Mammoth" points out that the seat was formerly held by Brad Carson, a strong Democrat, who appears to be interested in running again. So I may have been too quick to call it an easy GOP pickup. Regardless, Carson will have a tough fight on his hands with this president and this economy.

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posted by rdbrewer at 01:55 PM

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