Congressional Race

Bice Trounces Neese in Runoff to Face Horn

State Sen. Stephanie Bice defeated her Republican runoff opponent and will face U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn in November.

State Sen. Stephanie Bice (Rep., Oklahoma City) defeated business owner Terry Neese Tuesday night in the GOP runoff for the Fifth Congressional District.

The position is now held by U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn (Dem., Okla.), who is seeking reelection.\ to a second term.

State Sen. Bice will face Congresswoman Horn in the Nov. 3 general election.

With 86 percent of precincts reporting at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, State Sen.  Bice was leading Mrs. Neese 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent.

The two  have been locked in a bitter contest for the nomination after neither secured more than 50% of the vote in a nine-way June primary.

Mrs. Neese led the field with 36 percent of the vote to State Sen. Bice’s 25 percent.

Congresswoman Horn pulled one of the country’s biggest upsets two years ago when she unseated Republican incumbent in a district won by Donald J. Trump by 14 points in 2016.

The district had been held by Republicans for four decades.

Republicans have a slight edge in voter registration in the district, but an infusion of younger people in recent years could give U.S. Rep. Horn a boost in November.

The congresswoman has proven to be an effective fundraiser, amassing more than $3.6 million, compared to $1.2 million for Mrs. Neese and $1.4 million for State Sen. Bice, according to the most recent federal expenditure reports.

While Mrs. Neese and State Sen. Bice have spent money attacking one another in the primary runoff, Congresswoman Horn is running ads that highlight her willingness to work with Republicans and find bipartisan consensus.

Mrs. Neese has made her admiration for President Trump the center of her campaign, sporting a red “Trump 2020” hat in her ads and vowing to “protect” the president.

State Sen. Bice, who earned a reputation in the State Senate as a hardworking moderate, has touted her support for President Trump on the campaign trail.

State Sen. Bice has been targeted by outside groups for voting for tax increases to fund a teacher pay raise, while Mrs. Neese, who is not Native American, has faced criticism for claiming Cherokee heritage that helped her land a federal appointment and after the release of audiotapes in which Mrs. Neese can be heard encouraging her employees to mislead clients.

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