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Former U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe passes away at 89

Former US Senator Jim Inhofe passes away at 89
Tulsa World reported Tuesdsay morning taht

TULSA, OKLA. (KTUL) — Sources said Tuesday morning that former U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe passed away.

He was 89 years old.

Inhofe served as an Oklahoma U.S. senator from 1994 to 2023.

He is the longest-serving U.S. senator from Oklahoma.

Congressman Kevin Hern, R-OK 1st District, released a statement after Inhofe's passing that said:

Senator Jim Inhofe was a dear friend and mentor, a titan in Oklahoma, and a highly effective leader in DC. Tammy and I are keeping Kay and the rest of the Inhofe family in our prayers. Jim spent his life in service to his country, both in uniform and in the halls of Congress. He will always be remembered as a fighter, especially for our military service members. Jim’s legacy of service, leadership, and faith reflect the Oklahoma Standard and the pride he held in his work. Along with the family, friends, and many Oklahomans who knew and loved him, I mourn the loss of a great man.

Congressman Josh Brecheen also issued a statement that said:

I am very sad to hear of the passing of former Oklahoma United States Senator Jim Inhofe. Jim and his family devoted nearly sixty years of public service for the people of Oklahoma. May the peace that only the Lord can provide be with the Inhofe family during this difficult time.

Congresswoman Stephanie Bice put out a statement on X that said "Today, Oklahoma mourns the loss of a true champion for our state with the passing of Senator Him Inhofe."

She went on to say that Inhofe was a true servant for all Oklahomans and that his death is a profound loss.

Congressman Frank Lucas said in a statement:

Today, Oklahoma and the entire country mourn the loss of Senator Jim Inhofe.
The true embodiment of a public servant, Jim spent five decades faithfully serving the people of Oklahoma with the utmost integrity and purpose. His calling to do so began in the Oklahoma Legislature and later as the mayor of Tulsa, where he proved to be a selfless steward of his community.
His long career in the United States House and Senate serves as a testament to his strong moral compass and innate desire to better his home state. From being a larger-than-life advocate for Oklahoma’s military installations to improving infrastructure across the state, Jim Inhofe has made an impact on Oklahomans that will be felt for generations.
Watching and learning under his leadership has only strengthened my sense of duty, and I have always used his character as a guidepost in my endeavors. Lynda and I join Oklahomans everywhere in mourning this great loss and praying for his family.

U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin released a statement that said:

It's fitting that Senator Jim Inhofe's middle name was Mountain -- because that's exactly what he was, not just for our state, but for the nation. Senator Inhofe's tenacity and enduring love for Oklahoma made him a titan in the Senate. He was a tireless advocate, and a wonderful friend, father, husband, and grandfather. While I will never be able to fill his shoes, Jim's spirit, passion, and love of country will continue to inspire me each and every day. Our prayers are with Kay, his former staff, and the entire Inhofe family.

Former Representative Joe Dorman gave his condolences to the Inhofe family on X:

President and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber Mike Neal also released a statement Tuesday morning:

The Tulsa Regional Chamber mourns the death of former U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, who spent his entire professional career seeking to enrich the lives of Oklahomans. As a former Tulsa mayor, Congressman and the longest-serving U.S. senator from Oklahoma, Inhofe was the consummate public servant, unafraid to advocate for his constituents, particularly in the areas of transportation, infrastructure and the armed services.
We are especially grateful to the former senator for several recent wins, including full funding of the Tulsa/West Tulsa Levees, a longtime priority within the Chamber’s OneVoice Regional Legislative Agenda. He also led the effort to designate U.S. Highway 412 as an interstate, and he oversaw reforms to help address the maintenance backlog of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.
“The breadth of Senator Inhofe’s impact on Oklahoma and the members of its business community is immeasurable. We applaud his commitment to our great state and offer our condolences to Kay and his wonderful family.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said on X that Inhofe was not only Oklahoma's longest-serving U.S. senator, he was also one of Tulsa's most accomplished mayors.

Mayor Bynum said Inhofe created the first city sales tax for capital improvements, the Third Penny, which funded billions in street and infrastructure enhancements.

Inhofe also modernized Tulsa's trash system, established Tulsa's 911 call system, and created the Sister Cities program.

You can read Mayor Bynum's full post below.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said, "Senator Jim Inhofe leaves many legacies in Oklahoma City. The most important by far was his lifetime of work protecting and strengthening Tinker Air Force Base, and that’s why an interchange in OKC near Tinker is named for him."

Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City, said in a statement:

Senator Inhofe was a resolute Republican who served his state and nation for nearly six decades in various roles. Unwavering in his beliefs and conservative values, he championed many causes during his career, including his support for the military, national defense and infrastructure. His dedication and influence in shaping policies in both Oklahoma and on a national level have left a lasting impact. My wife Maressa and I send our heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family and many friends.

House Speaker Charles McCall said, "Sen. Jim Inhofe was someone who truly lived up to his middle name of Mountain."

"A giant in Oklahoma and American politics, his steadfast leadership helped shape the course of our state and nation for decades," McCall said. "His contributions to our nation's military and aviation infrastructure will benefit our country for generations to come, and his commitment to his conservative values was unwavering. There are few who have served in the U.S. Senate who were as well-respected and revered as Sen. Inhofe, and we truly will not see his like again. My condolences go out to his family during this extremely difficult time."

House Democratic Leader Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City, also released a statement on Inhofe's passing.

Munson said:

My condolences go out to the family and friends of Senator Jim Inhofe. He was a tenacious leader, state representative, and United States Senator who stood firm in his convictions. He bravely served our country in more ways than one and has left a long-lasting impact on the State of Oklahoma.

House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City, said in a statement:

Few have done more than James Mountain Inhofe for the people of Oklahoma. From supporting countless miles of infrastructure development, standing up for Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, his commitment to our men and women in uniform, or his unwavering commitment to conservative values, and so much more, Oklahoma lost an irreplaceable legend.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) issued a statement on Sen. Inhofe's passing.

ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz said, "No one cared more deeply for Oklahomans and for our nation than Senator Inhofe."

Gatz went on to say in a statement:

The department is grateful for his dedication and contributions to infrastructure while making certain Oklahoma was receiving its fair share of the federal transportation programs. We are well positioned for the future because of his efforts. He and his legacy will be dearly remembered and he will be absolutely missed. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will keep the Senator’s family in our thoughts and prayers.
For many years Senator Inhofe served as chairman and ranking member of the Environment and Public Works committee and worked to craft major pieces of transportation and infrastructure legislation that benefited all corners of the state. He was key in creating and securing large funding packages across multiple administrations. Most recently, he helped ODOT receive a BUILD grant to replace the Bridgeport Bridge on US-281/Route 66 prior to the celebration of the Mother Road. In 2022, work began on the more than $170 million I-40/Douglas interchange, to be complete in 2025, which the Oklahoma Legislature named 'The U.S. Senator James Inhofe Interchange,’ in his honor.

State Superintendent Ryan Walters released a statement on X:

Governor Kevin Stitt said, "Sarah and I are saddened by the news of the passing of Senator Inhofe and our hearts go out to Kay, their children and grandchildren."

Stitt went on to say in the statement:

Jim was a generational Oklahoman who relentlessly championed our veterans, never wavered in protecting our values, and a firm believer in the American Dream. Jim will be remembered as a true statesman and public servant— and a fighter for Oklahoma.

Stitt ordered all flags on state property to be flown at half-staff until Wednesday evening in honor of Inhofe's memory and service.

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