Pruitt filed his state nomination papers on Friday, the deadline set by the Oklahoma state election committee for candidates to submit paperwork to run in the June primary. Pruitt also confirmed his candidacy for the Senate in an interview with The Associated Press. He did not immediately respond to a Washington Post request for comment and did not appear to have a campaign website as of Friday afternoon.
Before being hired by President Donald Trump to lead the EPA, Pruitt served as Oklahoma’s attorney general from 2011 to 2017 and served in the Oklahoma State Senate for eight years. He also pursued an unsuccessful US House bid in 2001.
Pruitt resigned from the EPA in 2018 amid controversy over his lavish spending, ethical lapses and management decisions. While running the agency, Pruitt faced questions about taxpayer-funded first-class travel, the discounted condominium rental from the wife of a DC lobbyist, and settling a $43,000 soundproof phone booth in his office.
He also faced allegations that he repeatedly enlisted subordinates to help him find accommodation, book personal trips and find a six-figure job for his wife.
In his resignation letter, Pruitt called it a “blessing” to serve in the Trump administration, but said the “relentless attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a tremendous toll on all of us.”
Inhofe has backed his chief of staff, Luke Holland, in the race for his seat. Half a dozen other candidates are also running in the GOP primary, including Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and former State House Speaker TW Shannon. Former Congresswoman Kendra Horn (Okla.) is the only Democratic candidate running for the seat.
Oklahoma also holds regular Senate elections in November. Senator James Lankford (R) is running for re-election.
Alice Crites, Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin contributed to this report.