Patrick B. McGuigan
Kendra Horn, long active in the role of coordinator and manager for Democratic candidates and causes, stepped out with her own campaign for office at a Thursday evening (July 13) event in downtown Oklahoma City.
Horn wants the Democratic nomination for the Fifth Congressional District seat in 2018, so she can face Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Russell in the general election. In a brief interview at her formal campaign launch, this reporter asked Horn, “Why you and not Tom Guild? – who is also running for the nomination.
She said, “I am the right person, at the right time for this district. People here have so much more in common than our differences. We need to get down to brass tacks and work together in making the state better.”
Horn might best be known for guiding Sally’s List, a group advocating that more female candidates seek public office on the Democratic side of the aisle. However, one Republican legislator – state Rep. Carol Bush of Tulsa – was among those announcing support for Horn’s candidacy at the city event, held at the Dunlap Coddling building on historic film row.
Asked to estimate a realistic budget for her effort, Horn was reflective, saying, “That is a great question. it seems to me we will have to raise well over a million dollars.”
Referencing recent successes for local Democrats in Oklahoma County and Tulsa, she said, “We plan to reach out and build on this amazing recent momentum. Seats have turned around and we want to turn this one around. We are going to harness this incredible energy.”
Knowing she will need Republican support in the capital city of a ‘Red State,’ Horn told The City Sentinel, “Oklahoma needs and deserves someone to represent is in DC. We need policies that work, instead of policies that hurt Oklahoma.” Later, in comments to a packed room of at least 200 supporters, she pointed to what she said are national Republican deficiencies in policies touching education, health care and other issues as motivating her run, she promised to “touch every corner of the Fifth CD, from Seminole over to the far west edge of the district. What we are missing is someone to stand up to special interests and stand up for is.”
A final challenge from this reporter was to describe in one sentence her mission statement. She replied, “We win by listening to everyone and getting everyone involved. It isn’t about me, it’s about we.”
In addition to Sally’s List, Horn has guided the work of “Women Lead,” where her biographic sketch described her as “a practical idealist,” someone who believes “limits are meant to be challenged and conventional wisdom questioned.” Her work experience has included stops in Washington, D.C., Colorado and California.
Horn managed the 2014 gubernatorial campaign of former state Rep. Joe Dorman, a Rush Springs Democrat, and her LinkedIn lists Amatra LLC and yoga instruction among her experiences.
Horn garnered a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Tulsa, and a law degree from Southern Methodist University. This is her first run for elective office.