OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It was a close race until the very end when former state senator Stephanie Bice defeated incumbent Kendra Horn for the U.S. House’s 5th District seat.
“It was incredible. It took a while to have all the results come in but I was just incredibly honored that voters believed in me and elected me to the 5th District,” Bice told KFOR on Wednesday morning.
Something that voters likely noticed in the race was the number of negative ads targeting both candidates. However, most of those ads were purchased by out of state groups.
“That’s true. You know, I don’t think most people in Oklahoma had ever seen a race like this before. This was the number one take-back opportunity in the country for Republicans. So the Democrats had spent a lot of money to try to hold onto the seat, but Republicans were spending the same amount to try to take it back. That’s why you saw advertisements on your channel every day, all day long and we saw mail pieces in mailboxes like we’ve never seen before. The good news for viewers is that today they don’t have to see anymore political ads,” she said.
With the race behind her, Bice says she is focused on jobs and the economy in Oklahoma.
“We really do need to make sure that we’re focusing on jobs and the economy. We have low unemployment right now but in Oklahoma, we’re being hit on two fronts. We’re hit certainly with the global pandemic but also with the downturn in oil and gas. So we need to make sure that we are looking towards continuing to either offer additional PPP dollars to small businesses to keep them afloat, job training or retraining for individuals that may have lost their jobs. So those are some of the things I think first and foremost I’ll be looking to do once I get to Washington,” she said.
As election results continue to pour in, it looks like Democrats will still have control of the U.S House of Representatives. Bice says she isn’t concerned about working with another party across the aisle.
“I’ve done that on the state level. Many of the bills that I ran that were high-profile bills, alcohol modernization, criminal justice reform, those are never real partisan issues. Those are issues that were done in the best interest of Oklahoma. So I know how to work across the aisle. I know how to try to advance an issue or an initiative and so I’m excited for that opportunity,” she said.
With her focus on jobs, she was asked about what she would do for the small business owners in Oklahoma who are struggling right now.
“We need to consider doing another PPP package. There’s actually dollars left over from the original CARES Act, about $184 billion, that is available that I think we need to consider opening that program back up, particularly for businesses that have not seen a rebound. Many of our hotels, travel and tourism, those industries have been severely impacted and I think it would be in the best interest of Oklahoma to make sure that we’re giving them every opportunity to thrive,” Bice said.
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