The first live, televised debate of the competitive congressional race for Oklahoma’s 5th District will be sponsored by OETA, the League of Women Voters of Oklahoma County and Oklahoma Watch. 

The debate between incumbent Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn and GOP challenger state Sen. Stephanie Bice will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 on OETA. It will be moderated by Paul Monies of Oklahoma Watch and Susan Cadot of OETA. 

Because of restrictions related to the coronavirus, the debate will not include a studio audience. It will be streamed online. A rebroadcast of the debate will be at 8 p.m. Oct. 10 on OETA. 

The congressional seat, which includes most of Oklahoma County and Pottawatomie and Seminole counties, is among the most competitive races in the nation. Horn beat GOP incumbent Steve Russell in 2018 and is defending the seat against Bice, who survived a runoff in August against businesswoman Terry Neese. 

The Cook Political Report rates Oklahoma’s 5th District race as a “tossup.” Horn has cast herself as a moderate Democrat who can reach across the aisle to get legislation passed and has run ads touting support from some Republicans in the district. Bice is regarded as a moderate Republican in the statehouse but moved rightward during the GOP primary and runoff elections for the congressional seat. 

Horn and Bice also have scheduled televised debates Oct. 13 on NEWS 9 (KWTV) and Oct. 20 on Fox 25 (KOKH).

Mike Sherman is the executive editor of Oklahoma Watch. Contact him at or 405-990-0352. Follow him on Twitter at @mikesherman.

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