Kendra Horn turned Oklahoma’s 5th District blue for the first time in 44 years. Religion played a role.

How the 42-year-old Democrat pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2018 midterm elections.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | For Religion News Service

OKLAHOMA CITY — U.S. Rep.-elect Kendra Horn, D-Okla., knelt at the front of the sanctuary as the Rev. Joseph Alsay, rector of St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, anointed her with chrism, a consecrated oil.

“Kendra, may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done,” Alsay said as he prayed over Horn.

He then invited other religious leaders to join him in prayer.

Representatives of nearly a dozen religious traditions — Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh leaders among them — took part in an interfaith prayer service Sunday night for Horn, who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2018 midterm elections.

The public demonstration of her faith marked a transformation of sorts for Horn, a 42-year-old native Oklahoman who grew up Southern Baptist but said she fell in love with the Episcopal Church’s “combination of intellect and liturgy” as an adult.

“My faith has always been something more personal to me, so it has been an interesting journey working on sharing that and my expression of it,” Horn said in an interview with Religion News Service before the prayer service.

In one of the reddest of the red states, Horn defeated incumbent Republican Steve Russell by 1.4 percentage points in the Nov. 6 general election, turning Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District blue for the first time in 44 years.

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Religion News Service is a national wire service whose media partners include The Associated Press, USA Today and the Washington Post.

Author: Bobby Ross Jr.

Bobby Ross Jr. is an award-winning journalist who has reported from all 50 states and 14 countries.