The sometimes fractious runoff for the Republican nomination for Congress in Oklahoma’s fifth city ended last night with a victory by state Sen. Stephanie Bice.
Bice, who had the backing of the National Rifle Association and former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, defeated businesswoman Terry Neese.
She now faces Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn in what is considered one of the Republican Party’s best chances at picking up a House seat and getting closer to the “magic 18” — the 18 seats they need to turn their present 200-seat minority into a majority.
Two years ago, Horn pulled a major upset over Republican Rep. Steve Russell.
“And I definitely think Kendra’s in big trouble,” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., told us before the primary. “Oklahomans definitely didn’t want that farce of an impeachment trial [of President Donald Trump], and she voted for it. Her constituents are going to remember that.”
Both Bice and Neese were early supporters of businesswoman Carly Fiorina for the Republican presidential team but later boarded the “Trump Train” when Fiorina withdrew.
Despite her backing from conservatives such as Santorum, Bice was branded a “RINO” (Republican in Name Only) by Neese for supporting tax increases to raise the pay of teachers. Bice hit back hard, freely admitting she favored raising teachers’ pay and saying the raise was long overdue.
Neese graciously conceded the race and said it was now time “for Republicans to focus on the real fight ahead of us: beating Kendra Horn and doing whatever it takes to re-elect President Trump in November.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.