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Democrat Horn joins crowded US Senate race in Oklahoma

March 15, 2022 GMT
FILE - In this May 10, 2018 file photo, Kendra Horn speaks during a forum for Oklahoma 5th congressional district seat Democratic candidates in Edmond, Okla., on May 10, 2018.  Horn is the latest candidate to announce plans to run for Oklahoma's soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat. The 45-year-old attorney told The Associated Press on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, that she plans to seek the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
FILE - In this May 10, 2018 file photo, Kendra Horn speaks during a forum for Oklahoma 5th congressional district seat Democratic candidates in Edmond, Okla., on May 10, 2018.  Horn is the latest candidate to announce plans to run for Oklahoma's soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat. The 45-year-old attorney told The Associated Press on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, that she plans to seek the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
FILE - In this May 10, 2018 file photo, Kendra Horn speaks during a forum for Oklahoma 5th congressional district seat Democratic candidates in Edmond, Okla., on May 10, 2018.  Horn is the latest candidate to announce plans to run for Oklahoma's soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat. The 45-year-old attorney told The Associated Press on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, that she plans to seek the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
FILE - In this May 10, 2018 file photo, Kendra Horn speaks during a forum for Oklahoma 5th congressional district seat Democratic candidates in Edmond, Okla., on May 10, 2018. Horn is the latest candidate to announce plans to run for Oklahoma's soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat. The 45-year-old attorney told The Associated Press on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, that she plans to seek the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
FILE - In this May 10, 2018 file photo, Kendra Horn speaks during a forum for Oklahoma 5th congressional district seat Democratic candidates in Edmond, Okla., on May 10, 2018. Horn is the latest candidate to announce plans to run for Oklahoma's soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat. The 45-year-old attorney told The Associated Press on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, that she plans to seek the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn, a moderate Democrat who pulled off one of the biggest political upsets in the 2018 midterm elections, announced Tuesday she’s joining the race for Oklahoma’s soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat.

Horn, 45, is jumping into an increasingly crowded field seeking the post held for more than 25 years by Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, who announced last month he plans to step down.

“One of the primary reasons I decided to run is that I believe we need public servants, people who are going to reach across the aisle and serve their communities and put the state and Oklahomans before political party,” Horn told The Associated Press. “Oklahoma is worth fighting for, and we have a lot more in common than we have differences.”

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Horn, an attorney, said she planned to formally announce her candidacy in a video message Tuesday.

Horn became the first female Democrat elected to Congress from Oklahoma when she upset then-U.S. Rep. Steve Russell, a Republican, in 2018. Horn then lost to Republican U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice in 2020.

She is the first Democrat to announce plans to run for Inhofe’s open seat and will face an uphill battle in a state where a Democrat hasn’t won a statewide race in more than a decade. Several high-profile Republicans have already announced plans to run, including U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, state Sen. Nathan Dahm and Inhofe’s longtime Chief of Staff Luke Holland.

Meanwhile, an Oklahoma attorney is asking the state Supreme Court to stop the special election for Inhofe’s seat, arguing the U.S. Constitution does not allow a special election to fill the post until it is vacant. Inhofe has said he plans to resign in January, just two years into his six-year term. A hearing on that matter is scheduled for next week.

Oklahoma’s three-day candidate filing begins April 13.