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Political notebook: Oklahoma, U.S. Chamber at odds over Horn endorsement

Political notebook: Oklahoma, U.S. Chamber at odds over Horn endorsement


The Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce is upset because the U.S. Chamber plans to endorse 5th District Rep. Kendra Horn, a Democrat, for reelection.

According to the U.S. Chamber's website, Horn voted with the organization more than all but two of Oklahoma's six Republican House and Senate members.

In a letter to the U.S. Chamber, however, State Chamber President Chad Warmington complained that Horn has not been sufficiently helpful to the oil and gas industry. Warmington, who formerly headed a large Oklahoma oil and gas trade association, wrote, “I don’t believe an endorsement of Congresswoman Horn is warranted at this time and certainly not justifiable based on the current record of consequential votes impacting Oklahoma businesses.”

Horn is in what is expected to be one of the nation's most closely watched reelection campaigns. Her Republican opponent is state Sen. Stephanie Bice.

The possible Horn endorsement is part of a U.S. Chamber effort to diversify its endorsement. The Chamber has spent more than $100 million over the past decade on Republican candidates, according to Politico.

Meanwhile, the Republican political action committee Winning for Women Action Fund announced a "six-figure" digital and television advertising campaign on Bice's behalf.

School choice: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos' school choice organization American Federation for Children boasted about its electoral successes in Oklahoma, including Cheryl Baber's state Senate District 35 Republican runoff victory.

AFC was also pleased about the election of Republican Shane Jett — or, more precisely, the loss of constant critic Ron Sharpe — in SD 17 and the election of former Epic Charter School official Preston Stinson.

More than a half-dozen other AFC-backed candidates won primaries, according to the organization. Most of those do not have general election opponents.

New job: Former Gov. Mary Fallin has joined husband Wade Christensen's law firm as a "senior advisor and consultant," according to a press release.

Christensen Law specializes in defending employers and insurance companies in workers compensation cases.

Fallin — identified as Mary Fallin-Christensen in the press release — is not an attorney but did devote considerable attention to workers compensation reform during her time in public office.

Bottom lines: The Oklahoma Department of Health received $2.15 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for HIV prevention and treatment. ... The state's transit systems are receiving $6 million in federal funds for COVID-19 related expenses. ... The Miami Area Economic Development Service received an $825,000 CARES Act grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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— Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa World

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