During the midterms of 2018, Kendra Horn made Oklahoma history rocking the 5th Congressional District of Oklahoma, and flipping the long-held Republican seat blue. It was a shock to the GOP, as Horn’s victory won her a post that had been Republican for 44 years. At the time, FiveThirtyEight.com gave Horn a 14.7% chance of winning.
Kendra Horn ran as a moderate, running on affordable healthcare and education, shying away from controversial topics such as gun rights and abortion. While Horn was publicly quiet about abortion on the campaign trail, she received over $38,000 from Emily’s List, a political action committee aiming to “elect prochoice democratic women to office.” Not surprisingly, Kendra Horn is one of their featured candidates on their website. The PAC urges people to donate to keep Horn in the House as “she faces a tough re-election fight against Republicans doing everything in their power to take this seat back.” Despite this, because of an unlikely win and Horn’s seemingly moderate stances on issues, Republicans remained complacent.
Due to Oklahoma’s 5th district seat being widely-considered a “secure win” for Republicans, it would seem that many stayed home on election night.
Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan echoed this sentiment:
“Interestingly, Congressman Steve Russell didn’t lose the 5th district on election day. Early and absentee voting is what actually cost the Republicans the seat. We must do a better job reaching early voters and turning them out for conservative candidates.”
With Republicans in the plurality in the district, many voters are not at all happy with their congresswoman’s voting record. As Horn finished up her first year in congress her record shows she votes in line with self-proclaimed socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 89% of the time. Horn’s more recent stances on issues has caused discord within the district. With an impeachment inquiry on the table, many voters urged Horn to vote against the inquiry. The Republicans’ multiple “Anti-Impeachment” rallies and marches were not enough for this congresswoman to listen to her constituents. Meanwhile, as she voted to move forward, Horn responded, saying, “I always look at the facts in front of me and vote in the best interests of Oklahomans.”
Republicans now face a dilemma in their primary elections, one that may possibly cost them the election. With 9 announced candidates for congressional district 5, GOP voters will have a hard time uniting against the unopposed Kendra Horn financially.
During her campaign and time in office, Horn has amassed over $2M in campaign funds. One of the current GOP frontrunners, Oklahoma business owner Terry Neese, has managed over $640,000 cash in hand in the past seven months.
Candidate Terry Neese on her campaign’s support thus far:
“My campaign has received support from men and women all across the 5th District, in Oklahoma, and across the nation — and I am just as invested in sending a Republican back to Congress and helping Republicans regain control of the majority in 2020 as they are.”
With candidates ranging from small business owners to state senators to oil millionaires, there is disunity within the party as a crowded field vies to run against Horn. It remains to be seen whether or not the Oklahoma Republicans can get their act together for the upcoming election in 2020 and rally behind a solid candidate.