facebook linkedin twitter

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.

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

In The States

January 24, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
FBI Cracks Down on Organizations Accused of Cashing in on Pandemic

WASHINGTON —  The FBI is investigating an Illinois company that has received $124 million from the federal government for COVID-19... Read More

WASHINGTON —  The FBI is investigating an Illinois company that has received $124 million from the federal government for COVID-19 testing after reports the owners were using part of the money for lavish lifestyles. FBI agents raided the headquarters in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, Saturday. It opened... Read More

New Conservative Target: Race as Factor in COVID Treatment

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Some conservatives are taking aim at policies that allow doctors to consider race as a risk... Read More

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Some conservatives are taking aim at policies that allow doctors to consider race as a risk factor when allocating scarce COVID-19 treatments, saying the protocols discriminate against white people. The wave of infections brought on by the omicron variant and a shortage of... Read More

January 21, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Virginia Attorney General Sues Over School Mask Mandates

WASHINGTON — Virginia’s new attorney general continued a hard turn to the right Thursday when he filed documents in the... Read More

WASHINGTON — Virginia’s new attorney general continued a hard turn to the right Thursday when he filed documents in the state Supreme Court asking for a dismissal of a lawsuit against Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s order overturning mask mandates. Youngkin’s executive order last week makes masking in... Read More

January 21, 2022
by Dan McCue
Governor Moves to Update, Expand Massachusetts’ Outdated Wiretap Law

BOSTON — Massachusetts’ wiretap statute, adopted in 1968 as a tool to combat organized crime, is now woefully out of... Read More

BOSTON — Massachusetts’ wiretap statute, adopted in 1968 as a tool to combat organized crime, is now woefully out of date; it needs a major revision to better equip law enforcement for the realities of the 21st century, the state’s governor said on Friday. “As technology... Read More

January 21, 2022
by Dan McCue
Intel to Build $20 Billion Semiconductor Factory in Ohio Amid Chip Shortage

NEW ALBANY, Ohio —Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, announced Friday that it is building a new $20 billion factory... Read More

NEW ALBANY, Ohio —Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, announced Friday that it is building a new $20 billion factory outside of Columbus, Ohio. The news is so big amid a shortage of critical microchips that President Joe Biden used it as a centerpiece for a... Read More

January 21, 2022
by Reece Nations
Biden Administration Defends Migrant Expulsion Policy in Court

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration defended its use of a controversial migrant expulsion policy in court on Wednesday despite criticism... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration defended its use of a controversial migrant expulsion policy in court on Wednesday despite criticism from immigrant advocates and attorneys. Public health authority Title 42 was invoked by the Trump administration at the onset of the pandemic and allows immigration officials... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top