The Washington Post

The Manchurian candidate….of Oklahoma?

Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas won his Republican primary with 82.8 percent of the vote on Tuesday. His opponent, Timothy Ray Murray, only received 5.2 percent of the vote.

Murray is taking his loss, well, oddly. He's contesting the election results on the grounds that Lucas is dead and has been replaced by a body double. Lucas, who has been in Congress for 20 years, told local news station KFOR that “It does come as kind of a shock to read that you’re not you."


"A lot of stupid things happen in Oklahoma politics," says Keith Gaddie at the University of Oklahoma, "but this may be the stupidest I've ever heard. Welcome to Oklahoma." (At the end of our phone call, Gaddie asked that I make sure the word "stupid" appeared in his quote.)

Paul Ziriax at the Oklahoma State Election Board says that Murray has not filed a formal petition to challenge the results yet. He has until 5 p.m. today to make a decision. The deadline for challenging the qualifications of a candidate was April 15.

In a press release on Murray's campaign Web site -- addressed to "News Person" -- he asserts that "it is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been displayed by a look alike. Rep. Lucas’ look alike was depicted as sentenced on a white stage in southern Ukraine on or about Jan. 11, 2011."

Stacy Buck, a representative for Lucas, confirms that yes, the congressman is alive, and no, he has never been to Ukraine, but that the office is making no further comments at this time.

Although the specifics of Murray's claim are slightly different, the candidate's fears closely follow the plot of the 1993 movie "Dave," which has a 94 percent "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes -- and a thumbs-up from Bill Clinton. In the movie, Dave Kovic -- played by Kevin Kline, fills in for the president -- who also looks eerily like Kevin Kline -- after he suffers a stroke.

Saddam Hussein's rumored body doubles were featured in an episode of "Arrested Development."

Murray also reaffirms his qualifications for office, as a human who is alive. "I will never use a look alike to replace my (The Office’s) message to you or to anyone else, as both the other Republican Challengers have."

The accusations leveled against Lucas have been on Murray's campaign website for a long time, but did not receive any attention until Murray sent out a press release after the primary. In previous web site updates, Murray promises, "I will NEVER use Artificial Intelligence look alike to voice what The Representative’s Office is doing nor own a robot look alike."

Jaime Fuller reports on national politics for "The Fix" and Post Politics. She worked previously as an associate editor at the American Prospect, a political magazine based in Washington, D.C.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Republicans debate Saturday night. The New Hampshire primary is on Feb. 9. Get caught up on the race.
Heading into the next debate...
Donald Trump returns to the Republican presidential debate stage Saturday night. Marco Rubio arrives as a sudden star, but fending off ferocious attacks from his rivals. Still glowing from his Iowa victory, Ted Cruz is trying to consolidate conservative support, while Ben Carson is struggling to avoid being typecast as the dead man walking.
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote.
New Hampshire polling averages
Polling in New Hampshire has typically been volatile after Iowa's caucuses, but Bernie Sanders, from its neighboring state Vermont, has been holding a lead over Hillary Clinton.
55% 38%
Play Video
Upcoming debates
Feb. 6: GOP debate

on ABC News, in Manchester, N.H.

Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.