Loading...

Oklahoma Schools Leader Switches Parties to Run for Governor

October 28, 2021by Sean Murphy, Associated Press
Oklahoma Schools Leader Switches Parties to Run for Governor
Oklahoma's State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister speaks in Oklahoma City. The head of Oklahoma public schools will switch parties and run as a Democrat to challenge Gov. Kevin Stitt for governor next year. Hofmeister made the announcement Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman via AP, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, who has clashed repeatedly with Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt and his appointees over the state’s response to COVID-19 in schools, said Thursday she will switch parties and run as a Democrat against him next year.

A longtime Republican first elected in 2014, Hofmeister said the decision to switch parties and run for governor was a difficult one, but one she took because “Kevin Stitt has hijacked the Republican Party here in Oklahoma.”

“Coming to these decisions was not easy, but both were 100% necessary,” she said in a statement. “With partisanship and ineffective leadership, Governor Stitt is running our state into the ground.

“I’m switching parties in hopes of building the Oklahoma I’ve always known our state can be.”

The Tulsa World first reported Hofmeister’s decision.

Stitt was among several Republican governors who traveled this week to South Texas, where he toured the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Under Governor Kevin Stitt’s leadership, the state has increased its funding of public education to historic highs and enacted another teacher pay raise all while lowering taxes and building the state’s largest savings account,” said Donelle Harder, a spokeswoman for Stitt’s reelection campaign.

A former schoolteacher, Hofmeister was elected in 2014 after she won a GOP primary against incumbent Janet Barresi and then defeated Democrat John Cox in the general election. Hofmeister was reelected in 2018. She can’t run for the post again because of term limits.

She oversaw Oklahoma schools during a tumultuous time that included massive protests and walkouts over teacher pay and school funding.

Hofmeister broke with four of Stitt’s appointees to the state school board last year over whether to require schools to follow coronavirus protocols, including mask wearing. Stitt’s appointees voted to make complying with the protocols optional. She also opposed a bill Stitt signed last year prohibiting school districts from requiring students to wear masks.

Last month, Stitt ordered an audit of the State Department of Education that Hofmeister described as “an attack on public education.”

In 2016, Hofmeister was charged with a felony, along with four others, alleging she raised money illegally and coordinated attack ads against Barresi in violation of state law. Those charges were later dropped.

Hofmeister joins Democrat Connie Johnson, Libertarian Natalie Bruno and Republicans Ervin Yen and Mark Sherwood as candidates for governor in 2022.

In The News

Health

Voting

In The States

May 21, 2022
by Dan McCue
Deep South Primaries a Test of Conservative Credibility

WASHINGTON — If any common themes are emerging from the primaries being held on Tuesday in Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas,... Read More

WASHINGTON — If any common themes are emerging from the primaries being held on Tuesday in Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas, it is that the voters in each state appear to be highly motivated and they’re looking for candidates — in the Republican column, at least —... Read More

May 20, 2022
by Dan McCue
National Memorial Day Road Closures, Restrictions Announced

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Capitol Police have announced a series of road closures that will be in effect between Monday,... Read More

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Capitol Police have announced a series of road closures that will be in effect between Monday, May 16, and Thursday, June 2, to accommodate the National Memorial Day concert. The concert itself will be broadcast live on PBS and streamed online on... Read More

May 20, 2022
by Dan McCue
Wyoming Governor to Chair National Oil and Gas Commission

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has been elected the next chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact... Read More

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has been elected the next chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. The election took place on May 17 at the organization’s most recent business meeting in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Gordon, the son of ranchers from Kaycee,... Read More

May 20, 2022
by Dan McCue
Bipartisan Lawyers' Coalition Raps Cruz on 2020 Election Efforts

AUSTIN, Texas – A bipartisan coalition of attorneys asked the Texas State Bar this week to sanction Sen. Ted Cruz,... Read More

AUSTIN, Texas – A bipartisan coalition of attorneys asked the Texas State Bar this week to sanction Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for regularly repeating “demonstrably false and misleading statements to the public” in an effort to keep former President Trump in office. According to its website,... Read More

May 19, 2022
by Dan McCue
Oklahoma Bans Nearly All Abortions After Fertilization

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Legislature on Thursday passed the nation’s strictest abortion law to date, banning almost all abortions... Read More

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Legislature on Thursday passed the nation’s strictest abortion law to date, banning almost all abortions from the moment of conception. The bill itself was modeled on a law that took effect in Texas in September. Like the Texas law, it relies... Read More

May 19, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
FCC Rule Cracks Down on Foreign Robocalls

WASHINGTON — Americans will soon get fewer robocalls from abroad because of a new Federal Communications Commission rule.  “Robocalls are... Read More

WASHINGTON — Americans will soon get fewer robocalls from abroad because of a new Federal Communications Commission rule.  “Robocalls are aggravating. What is worse is when we crack down on these junk calls, the scam artists behind them find new ways to reach us. Increasingly, that... Read More

News From The Well