Veteran Inhofe favored for re-election

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Republican Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma's blunt-speaking conservative senator, appears to be on cruise control toward re-election today against Democrat Andrew Rice, a state senator and former missionary.

The 35-year-old Rice campaigned aggressively for the post, but it has been an uphill fight from the start against Inhofe, a fixture in Oklahoma politics for five decades.

The 73-year-old Inhofe has spent $6 million in his bid for a third full term in the Senate, more than twice as much as Rice, a freshman state senator from Oklahoma.

Independent Stephen Wallace of Tulsa also is on the ballot.

Inhofe is a former mayor of Tulsa and ex-congressman. He has sparred with environmentalists over the years, calling the idea of manmade global warming a hoax.

He is known as one of the Senate's most conservative members.

Rice challenged Inhofe after better-known Democrats, such as Brad Henry, the state's popular governor, shunned the race.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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