There has been a lot of talk about the growing number of incumbent Democrats deciding to retire; see Another House Dem Bows out, as Their Fears of 2022 Red Wave Grow. There are a lot of reasons for those departures. Redistricting is claiming some, the prospect of a bruising campaign in an unfavorable political environment has convinced others to pack it in. Most, however, see the razor-thin House majority being demolished and don't relish life as part of the minority.
All of that begs the question of the caliber of candidate the Democrats are turning to in their struggle to defend their House majority.
Oklahoma's Fifth Congressional District is an R+24 district; before redistricting was R+11. Republicans had held it since 1975 until Steve Russell figured out some way to sufficiently screw the pooch in 2018 to lose to Democrat. The incumbent is Stephanie Bice. Bice, in my opinion, is one of those members who can be a solid conservative given the right amount of oversight but who could go full-metal Liz Cheney. For instance, she voted against impeaching President Trump after he had already left office and for not certifying the electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania. But, on the other hand, she voted to establish the tragi-farcical January 6 Committee. She doesn't have a primary opponent, but she-and the voters of OK-5-could probably benefit from her having one so they can get her on the record for a variety of issues.
Bice challenger in the race Abby Broyles. Broyles has been both a lawyer and journalist (the character traits common to both those professions have a direct bearing on the story to follow).
I'm running as a Democrat for Oklahoma's 5th congressional district because Oklahomans deserve a representative who's going to fight for them — not the radical right. Like and retweet our launch video to help us flip this seat blue! Then sign up at https://t.co/rgbky0gq7W pic.twitter.com/oODxVqDoPL— Abby Broyles (@abbybroyles) December 1, 2021
She ran against Jim Inhofe in 2020 and nearly pulled an upset…okay, I'm kidding…by polling just under 33% of the vote.
.@abbybroyles came within 3000 votes in Oklahoma's 5th district during her 2020 Senate campaign. Now, she's running to flip OK-5 blue & I know she can win. I'm proud to endorse her campaign & encourage you to donate before her end-of-year deadline: https://t.co/8lv2SfEf8l pic.twitter.com/BcOuMyfOEM— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) December 20, 2021
According to Broyles' website, she's a tool of the teachers' union. She's against putting criminals in prison. She's against the oil and gas industry and afraid of “climate change.” She soft-sells her pro-abort stance as being against “laws that interfere with a woman's ability to have a private relationship with her own physician.” Clever, eh? Her number-one issue is “pay equity,” which is a system that says your genitalia, not your experience, or education, or anything else, determines how much you get paid.
Broyles is now at the center of her own controversy.
A Valentine's Day weekend sleepover party for tween girls that included watching the film Titanic turned bizarre and tearful after parents say Oklahoma 5th Congressional District candidate Abby Broyles allegedly became drunk and berated some of the children in attendance.
The party, held at the home of a Deer Creek Public Schools parent on Feb. 11, included eight girls between the ages of 12 and 13. Broyles was allegedly at the home the night of the party at the invitation of the homeowner, who is the mother of one of the children.
According to multiple accounts of the evening, Broyles became intoxicated and spoke derogatorily to some of the girls. She allegedly called one girl an “acne **cker,” which prompted the girl to leave the room in tears. Broyles allegedly called another girl a “Hispanic **cker” and another a “judgy **cker.”
At one point, Broyles allegedly vomited into a laundry basket and onto one girl's shoes.
This Twitter thread is from the mother of one of the girls.
For someone who pontificates to be undyingly pro woman, I am disgusted by your behavior and find it appalling you couldn’t understand why their parents are angry. Your vile, cruel, and bigoted behavior should not be excused or ‘swept under the rug’. 2/4— Sarah Matthews (@ma66915987) February 16, 2022
When she was first asked about her actions, she blamed the girl and a “political hit.”
“I saw the tweets. I have been out of town on a fundraising trip, and they are awful and offensive and false,” Broyles said. “I mean, I get trolled on Twitter all the time, but I don't know these women and I don't know what is behind this, but it's just not true.”
Asked if she had even gone to the house where the slumber party occurred, Broyles said, “No.”
“I don't want to talk about — I mean, this is ridiculous that this is becoming a thing,” Broyles said. “This didn't happen.”
Broyles announced her candidacy for the Democratic Party's 2022 nomination for the 5th Congressional District in September. U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK5) was first elected to the seat in 2020. Broyles unsuccessfully challenged incumbent U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe in 2020, capturing 32 percent of the vote. Soon after, Broyles launched a nonprofit called Grit for Democracy to increase voter participation and “ensure every Oklahoman from every walk of life is seen and heard.”
An attorney and a former KFOR reporter who attended law school with the host of the sleepover, Broyles threatened to sue NonDoc for reporting the claims against her.
“I'm running for office. You don't think this is a political attack? You don't think this is something they cooked up?” Broyles said.
Asked if she meant that 12 and 13-year-old girls had “cooked up” a story against her for political purposes, Broyles said she meant “their moms.”
“I mean, I don't know,” Broyles said. “I have no idea. This is — I'm just telling you it's not true, and if I were a journalist I would not be doing a story, because it's not a story.”
She's now changed her story, perhaps thinking calling young girls liars and accusing someone who gave her 2020 senate campaign over $2,000 of participating in a political attack wasn't a great strategy. Still, the lie is strong in this one.
A Democrat running for Congress in Oklahoma is taking a wild stab at damage control after reports that she got drunk during a Valentine-themed slumber party for tweens, subjected the girls to a string of insults and curses, and vomited in a hamper.
Abby Broyles, a former local TV reporter, went on her old station to claim that she doesn't remember her bizarre tirade and to blame it on a sleeping medication.
But Broyles may have only made things worse when she insisted on air that she was misquoted by the news site, Nondoc, that broke the story.
“I never told them that I wasn't there. I said it didn't happen because he was asking about these allegations. And I had no idea because, again, I don't remember this episode at all,” she said on NBC affiliate KFOR.
But KFOR reports that Nondoc played a recording in which Broyles did indeed deny being there. Broyles did not respond to an email from The Daily Beast about that discrepancy.
I really doubt that Broyles is a singular occurrence in the Democrat party. In an election climate where 30 Democrat incumbents have packed it in, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to recruit challengers. If you lose an election, you become what is known in political consulting parlance as a “loser.” The stank of losing stays with you, and even if the environment is more favorable in 2024, you find “perennial candidate” affixed to your name…along with “loser.” In short, your political career is over. What results are assclowns like Broyles running without primary opponents. (A note: yes, OK-5 would be a tough seat to win, but OK-1, which was R+28 at the time, had five Democrats in their primary in 2018, and both OK-1 and OK-5 had two candidates in 2020.)