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Joy Hofmeister to switch parties and run against Kevin Stitt for Oklahoma governor

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister speaks during the Teacher of the Year Ceremony in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki

In an interview with The Tulsa World, State schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister announced she will switch parties and become a Democrat to challenge Gov. Kevin Stitt in the 2022 gubernatorial election.

Hofmeister was a political newcomer when she primaried fellow Republican Janet Barresi to become state superintendent in 2014 and cruised to re-election in 2018.

Changing parties was her only option, she told the Tulsa World, because the GOP in Oklahoma has become too closely aligned with Stitt. She’s frequently clashed with the governor during the pandemic - especially related to masking in schools.

Hofmeister held nothing back in her interview with The Tulsa World, saying Stitt is “running the state into the ground.”

She will officially switch her party registration on Thursday.

Hofmeister joins former state Sen. Connie Johnson in running for Governor in the Democratic primary next June. The general election will take place on Nov. 8, 2022.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Robby Korth grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a journalism degree.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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