The 2008 United States Senate election in Oklahoma was held on November 4, 2008. The statewide primary election was held July 29, with the run-off on August 26. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator James Inhofe won re-election to a third term.
Rice officially filed as a candidate for the United States Senate from Oklahoma on Monday, June 2, 2008. He won the Democratic primary against Jim Rogers, a retired schoolteacher who stressed campaign finance reform. As in earlier campaigns, Rogers refused to accept money to avoid any question of his allegiances. State Senator Kenneth Corn had earlier expressed interest in the race.
Inhofe, who in August 2008 had a 61% approval rating, emphasized his conservative record and tried to label Rice as a “committed liberal.” In the debates, Rice tried to connect Inhofe to George W. Bush saying “An era allowed this to happen. George Bush came into office eight years ago with a Republican majority and … an agenda of radical deregulation.” Rice also believed in global warming, something Inhofe is famous for being against. In the election, Inhofe had over $5 million in the bank. Rice had $3.8 million.