Bice, Barresi lead GOP fundraising in 5th, while Horn tops all candidates in last quarter
Republican state Sen. Stephanie Bice raised nearly $300,000 for her congressional campaign in the last three months of 2019, while two GOP newcomers to the 5th District race posted six-figure fundraising totals.
U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn, the Democratic incumbent in the 5th District, eclipsed all of her would-be rivals, collecting about $800,000 in the fourth quarter and boosting her warchest to $1.8 million. Horn raised more money from donors than all of the Republicans combined, according to reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission.
The 5th Congressional District includes most of Oklahoma County and Pottawatomie and Seminole Counties.
Horn, of Oklahoma City, is serving her first term after scoring a huge upset in 2018 over Republican incumbent Steve Russell. State and national Republicans have made the seat a top target for 2020.
Oklahoma primaries are June 30.
Bice, a second-term senator whose district includes parts of northwest Oklahoma City and Edmond, had the strongest of her three quarters of fundraising, collecting $294,000, most of it from individuals.
She has now raised nearly $644,000 since last spring and had $334,000 in her account at the end of the year.
“I’m so grateful for this outpouring of support,” Bice, of Oklahoma City, said. “After listening to voters in the district, it’s clear they are just as concerned as I am about what’s happening in Washington, D.C.”
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Former state school superintendent Janet Barresi began her campaign in October with a $500,000 personal loan. Barresi, of Oklahoma City, also raised $21,000 from donors. She ended 2019 with $435,233 in her campaign account.
Jason Johnson, spokesman for Barresi's campaign, said, "Janet is committed to restoring Oklahoma conservatives’ voice in Congress, which is why she invested $500,000 to kick start the campaign to defeat Kendra Horn and Nancy Pelosi."
Businessman David K. Hill, who helped create the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, raised nearly $206,000 in the last three months of 2019. He did not report any personal loans or contributions.
“I’m tremendously motivated by the level of support my campaign has received in the three months we’ve had to raise dollars,” Hill said.
Terry Neese, who entered the Republican race in April, raised about $78,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019. She made $450,000 in personal loans to her campaign early on. Neese, who has never held office but is well known among Oklahoma Republicans, ended the year with $655,266 in her account.
“Terry has led the field in fundraising since the day she entered the race because men and women across Oklahoma know it’s going to take a proven job creator and conservative outsider to beat Kendra Horn this November,” said Neese campaign spokesman Bryan Piligra.
Neese's overall lead in fundraising includes her personal loans. Bice leads the GOP field in fundraising from contributors.
Merideth VanSant, an Oklahoma City Republican who is also hoping to face Horn in the general election, raised $1,609 in the last quarter and had about $26,500 in her account.
Horn’s fundraising has been strong ever since her 2018 victory. She raised $2.4 million from late 2018 through December 2019, mostly from Oklahoma but with big help from donors on both coasts who want to keep Democrats in the majority in the House.
Horn’s 4th quarter report shows nearly $99,000 from political action committees, mostly controlled by House Democrats and unions, and $253,000 from a joint fundraising committee that tapped New York City investors, artists, philanthropists and others.
“The record-breaking support we received shows people are standing with our shared values and standing against the politics of divisiveness that hold us back from working together for the common good,” she said.
Though the money raised by candidates will be significant — particularly in the GOP primary — the general election will likely draw millions of dollars in out-of-state cash. One GOP-aligned group opposed to Horn has already spent nearly $600,000 on ads attacking her on the impeachment issue. A Democratic group countered with more than $200,000 for ads praising Horn's work on health care.