Rep. Kendra Horn Defends 2018 Win After Bloomberg’s Democratic Debate Comment
Oklahoma’s only Democratic member of Congress is pushing back against claims she was bought in 2018 by now Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg after the former New York City Mayor’s gaffe during Tuesday’s debate in South Carolina.
“They talk about 40 Democrats. Twenty-one of those are people that I spent $100 million to help elect. All of the new Democrats that came in and put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I bought — I, I got them,” Bloomberg said on stage in Charleston. The near statement caused near immediate backlash on social media.
In the final days of the 2018 congressional campaign, Bloomberg bought $400,000 worth of airtime in favor of Horn and against Fmr. Rep. Steve Russell (R). The ad buy nearly doubled Horn’s ad spending in the race and some have credited Bloomberg’s infusion of influence with Horn’s victory.
“Obviously, we recognized it was a big deal,” Horn’s campaign manager told the New York Times just weeks after the election.
After Bloomberg’s slip of the tongue, Horn’s current spokesperson disagreed with the idea Horn was bought by Bloomberg.
“Oklahomans know that Congresswoman Horn won her race because she showed up for our state, she listened to constituents, and she focused on issues that matter, like health care and education,” said spokesperson Chris Mackenzie. “Since she was elected, Congresswoman Horn has held a record number of town halls in Oklahoma’s 5th District and she’s reached across the aisle to win victories for military families and students.”
One of Horn’s opponents, Terry Neese, wasted no time in pushing the narrative Horn was beholden to Bloomberg.
“[V]oters of the 5th District finally got the truth about our radical liberal, bought-and-paid-for Congresswoman,” Neese said Wednesday morning.
According to a new News 9 Sooner Poll, Horn’s district, OK-5, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), Bloomberg and Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden are in a dead heat among likely Democratic and independent voters. Bloomberg is set to make a stop in Oklahoma City Thursday ahead of the primary election.
Horn also earned the endorsement of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN) during her visit to the Sooner State last week. Klobuchar is the only candidate so far to mention Horn during a campaign stop.