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Sen. Jim Inhofe to retire, announces positive COVID-19 test

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Sen. Jim Inhofe to retire, announces positive COVID-19 test
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. announced his resignation Friday after six full or partial terms in the Senate. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Sen. Jim Inhofe announced his retirement from Congress on Friday, along with a COVID-19 diagnosis.

The Republican senator from Oklahoma said his departure at the end of the year will be "bittersweet."

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"It is now time for that next generation of Oklahomans to have the opportunity to serve the state in the U.S. Senate," Inhofe said in a statement.

"Today's announcement is not the end of the road. I have work yet to do for Oklahomans over these next nine months, including passing the National Defense Authorization Act and holding the Biden administration accountable."

Inhofe's early departure -- his current term is set to expire in 2027 -- will trigger a special election in Oklahoma.

Inhofe's chief of staff, Luke Holland, also announced Friday that the senator's tested positive for "a very mild case" of COVID-19. A representative for Inhofe said "he's doing great" and noted he's full vaccinated and has received a booster against COVID-19.

Inhofe, 87, was first elected to Congress in 1987, representing Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District in the House. He served four terms there before being elected to the Senate in a special election to replace outgoing Sen. David Boren. He was elected to the Senate another five times.

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Inhofe served on the armed services; commerce, science and transportation; environment and public works; and small business and entrepreneurship committees.

This week in Washington

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson makes remarks after President Joe Biden announced her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday at the White House. She is the first Black woman to be nominated to the high court. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

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