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End near for noisy 5th District GOP runoff campaign

Tuesday’s 5th District Republican runoff election probably can’t get here soon enough for candidates Terry Neese and Stephanie Bice — or for GOP voters weary of the relentlessly negative campaign.

Neese, a businesswoman, and Bice, a state senator, are vying to face first-term U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn in the general election Nov. 3. Horn routed her lone opponent in the Democratic primary.

Neese and Bice emerged from a nine-person primary field. Neese won 36.5% of the vote. Bice got 25.4% despite being targeted by the political arm of Club for Growth. Those attacks have continued and the sniping between candidates has been non-stop.

Bice’s campaign has questioned Neese’s commitment to gun rights. Neese accused Bice of lying about Neese’s position. Neese also accused Bice of lying about endorsements from Vice President Mike Pence and the state’s leading anti-abortion group.

Neese, 72, has criticized Bice’s “dangerous record” of voting for a $474 million tax increase that the Republican-controlled Legislature approved in 2018. Bice, 46, defended that vote as being in the best interests of teachers. Bice also has noted she has defeated a Democrat — Neese lost in the general election for lieutenant governor in 1990 and in the primary for the same office in 1994.

In seeking to appeal to conservative voters, both candidates have touted their strong support for President Trump. On policy matters, there is little difference between the two. The challenge facing voters Tuesday is to determine, through all the clamor, which candidate they believe would fare best against Horn in November.

New lodging planned for cancer patients

Plans are in the works for construction of a site in Oklahoma City to give cancer patients a place to stay during their treatments. The American Cancer Society’s Chad Richison Hope Lodge will be at 800 NE 7, at the Oklahoma Health Center, and include 34 suites, a courtyard and a dining area. The American Cancer Society says roughly 3,700 cancer patients per year travel 40 miles or more to Oklahoma City for treatment. Those treatments can last weeks or months, and “the cost of travel and lodging for these patients can be overwhelming,” Scott Meacham and Gene Rainbolt, who led the campaign for the lodge, wrote in their introduction to the project. Hope Lodge will be free to patients and will bear the name of Paycom founder and CEO Chad Richison, who donated $5 million to the project. Kudos to all involved.

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