The Oklahoman

Abby Broyles to challenge GOP’s Rep. Stephanie Bice

- Chris Casteel The Oklahoman USA TODAY NETWORK

Democrat Abby Broyles, who waged an unsuccessf­ul battle last year to unseat U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, announced Wednesday that she plans to challenge freshman U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice for the congressio­nal seat that includes most of Oklahoma City.

Broyles, 31, an attorney and former television reporter, said, “Over the past several months, I've heard from so many Oklahomans in our district from healthcare profession­als pushed to the limit to parents making tough decisions about school for their kids this fall.

“Now more than ever, we need strong leadership in the 5th district. In me, you'll have a congresswo­man who listens to you and works for you and fights for you. Stephanie Bice works for herself and the radical right.”

Bice's office declined to comment on Wednesday.

Bice, R-Oklahoma City, defeated then-incumbent Rep. Kendra Horn, an Oklahoma City Democrat, by four points to capture the 5th Congressio­nal District seat.

In a statement on Wednesday, Broyles said she attended a Bice town hall meeting in Bethany last week and was “disgusted listening to Bice more passionate about looking out for the January 6th mob that attacked our Capitol than looking out for the people of this district that I've called home my entire life. I walked into that town hall as a constituen­t and walked out a candidate.”

Bice, 47, was the only member of the Oklahoma congressio­nal delegation — and one of only 35 House Republican­s — who voted to create a bipartisan commission to investigat­e the Jan. 6 attack. Former President Donald Trump, whose shadow still looms large in GOP politics, opposed the commission.

At a town hall meeting in Oklahoma City last week, Bice said she signed a letter expressing concern that some of those arrested after the attack were being held in solitary confinement. The letter was similar to one written by Massachuse­tts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Bice said.

Horn was the first Democrat to hold the seat since the congressio­nal districts were reduced from six to five after the 2000 census. The districts were redrawn then to put most of Oklahoma City — and Oklahoma County — into the 5th District.

The district also includes Pottawatom­ie and Seminole counties.

Horn narrowly defeated Bice in Oklahoma County last year, but Bice won big in the other two counties. Broyles got only 33% of the vote statewide against Inhofe, but she came within 3,000 votes of the Republican senator in Oklahoma County. But, like Horn, she fared relatively poorly in Pottawatom­ie and Seminole counties.

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