OKLAHOMA CITY – In just one of the political battles that played out on Tuesday, an Oklahoma Democrat attempted to replace a Republican incumbent in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rep. Steve Russell, a military veteran, has worked to improve care for the military and cut spending along the way. He has also spoken out against President Trump’s refugee policies.
Kendra Horn, who has worked for nonprofit organizations and the aerospace industry, says she wants to prioritize education funding in the country, provide common sense tax reform and improve gun safety in the House of Representatives.
While many analysts believed that Russell would be re-elected to the position, Horn kept the lead over the incumbent for most of the night.
Campaign officials say Horn has been campaigning since last summer and has pushed affordable healthcare and quality education.
“We need to increase funding here so when it comes to things like Pell grants, higher education, everything the federal government has the ability to oversee when it comes to Oklahomans access, those are things she wants to take on when she goes to Washington,” said Sarah Rivin, with Horn’s campaign.
Once the votes were tallied, it appeared as though Horn defeated the Republican incumbent.
With all precincts reporting, the Oklahoma State Election Board says that Horn won the race with 50.67% of the vote, compared to Russell’s 49.33%.
The votes tallied show that Horn finished the race with 120,152 votes, compared to Russell’s 116,996.
Officials say this was a major upset, adding that Congressional District 5 has not been represented by a Democrat since the 1970s. Horn becomes the first Democratic woman to be sent to Washington, D.C., from Oklahoma, and will now join a Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.