4 minute read

The negative response to U.S. Fifth District Representative Kendra Horn that some may have expected or feared never materialized in a relaxed two-hour town hall Sunday.

The second town hall scheduled for the weekend was at the Northwest Library at 5600 N.W. 122nd Street in Oklahoma City. Seating in the meeting room was almost filled to its 240 person capacity.

The first was on Saturday.

Cheering

The loudest response from the crowd during two hours was applause and cheering about Horn’s procedural vote to move forward with the inquiry that may lead to an impeachment vote for President Trump.

Richard Dawlkey’s number was drawn to ask questions about 45 minutes into the meeting.

“I just want to say thank you for voting finally to do these impeachment proceedings that are going on,” said Dawlkey.

He looked as though he was about to speak more, but was interrupted by loud cheering, hoots and applause.

Richard Dawkey’s comment and the crowd response. Brett Dickerson/Okla City Free Press

Horn about impeachment

“I am concerned about our nation and our systems and making sure that that we have policies and processes that everybody can agree to and that are that are transparent and fair,” Horn responded.

“There were clear guidelines set out there,” Horn added. “And to be clear, I have not and will not make any decisions about any votes between now and whenever, until I see the facts in front of me.”

She talked about the effort it takes to resist responding to the “24-hour news cycle” that demands decisions, declarations, and answers in the moment. But, she continues to resist until she has seen all of the information first.

town hall
U.S. Fifth District Rep Kendra Horn explains her approach to the impeachment inquiry Sunday, Nov. 11 at the NW Library in OKC. Brett Dickerson/Okla City Free Press.

“I was not jumping up and down, I’m still not jumping up and down for going into any impeachment inquiry,” said Horn.

“But it’s our job to provide investigation and oversight, to protect our whistleblowers, to follow the information,” she said.

“And we didn’t have an independent counsel that was appointed. So I have to make the decisions based on what’s in front of me….”

Detractors

There were detractors but in a significantly small number.

Three people showed up outside. One was holding a big “Don’t tread on me” flag and as many signs as they could juggle with slogans against Horn.

And only two people out of well over 200 were wearing obvious MAGA gear in the crowd.

One person shouted out “one and done” on the way out of the door when his number wasn’t drawn to ask a question.

But, no hostile statements were made toward Horn by those who had the floor during the entire two hours with no negative interruptions from any attendees while others had the floor.

Open, listening

Horn attributes the lack of venom at her town halls to her determination to respectfully listen to constituents all along the political spectrum.

“It is just a fundamental philosophy for me that it’s at the heart of our job to represent people and we can’t do that if we don’t talk to them and listen to what they’re saying,” she told Free Press in an interview in her Oklahoma City office Friday.

Richard Dawlkey
Richard Dawlkey congratulates Rep Horn for her vote to go forward on the impeachment inquiry as the crowd begins to cheer. Brett Dickerson/Okla City Free Press

She said that her focus on getting better base housing conditions for military families at Tinker AFB in Midwest City came from comments she heard at her very first town hall meeting.

It resulted in her joining with House members across the aisle to develop new policies for how contractors would be managed as they manage base housing.

Moderate

Democrat Horn has continued to hold moderate positions after her upset win over Republican Steve Russell who held the seat for several terms.

People on either extreme pole of the political spectrum have expressed disappointment in her positions from time to time.

But, she has managed to hold the center by having more town halls in less than two years than her predecessor and both Senators combined over the last ten.

“We want to create a constructive environment for dialogue,” Horn told us. “We want to create a situation where People can ask hard questions, express their concerns, expect to discuss them and know that … somebody is going to listen and answer the questions and that disagreement is ok.”

She said, “respect is critical.”


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