2nd Republican Announces Candidacy Against Freshman Congresswoman For District 5 Seat
A second Republican has announced she would be running to unseat newly-elected Democrat, U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn, in 2020.
On Thursday, Oklahoma City businesswoman and political strategist Terry Neese became the second challenger in two days to announce their candidacy for U.S. District 5. The GOP primary race is expected to be a lively primary with the goal of unseating new incumbent Horn.
“I am deeply concerned with the political infighting in Washington and the direction in which our country is moving,” Neese said in her emailed announcement. “I believe our district has a chance to get our nation back on track, but it will take sending a proven leader to Congress who has the private sector experience and conservative principles to stand up to Nancy Pelosi and pass policies that will unleash our economy, keep our nation secure, and protect future generations from crippling national debt.”
Neese ran Neese Personnel Services in Oklahoma City since 1975 before selling the company to her daughter in 2005, according to reports from the time.
The businesswoman is also well known on the national stage, although she has never held office.
Neese is a co-founder for the political action group Women Impacting Public Policy, a founder of the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women and served as president of the National Association of Women Business Owners. During her tenure at NAWBO, she helped to push through the Women’s Business Ownership Act in 1988. Neese was also nominated to multiple national councils under presidents of both parties.
Most recently, she supported President Donald Trump’s candidacy and attended the inauguration. Searches of FEC donations did not show Neese gave to the president’s campaign nor his inauguration directly. Ticket packages for the inauguration ranged from $25,000 to 1,000,000. She is pictured taking a photo with the president for which he charged between $10,000 and $15,000 at recent rallies.
Neese, joins state Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, who announced her candidacy on Wednesday. The field is, so far, filled with only three women, which both marks a shift in Oklahoma’s 5th District history and follows a recent state and national trend of an increase in the number of women running for office.
Horn’s campaign issued a barbed statement Wednesday saying the Republican primary for OK-5 “will be fueled by special interests and filled with right-wing activists.”
The race on the right is expected to be crowded. Both the state and national Republican Party groups view Horn’s seat as one they can and need to regain in 2020. Candidate preference calls began shortly after Horn’s election along with rumors other prominent candidates like former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. So far, only Neese and Bice have announced their candidacies.