TULSA, Okla. — Joy Hofmeister, the current State Superintendent of Public Instruction for Oklahoma, announced her candidacy for governor of Oklahoma.
The lifelong Republican is running as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Governor Kevin Stitt, who is running for reelection.
“First and foremost I think it’s just important to say that I haven’t changed. I am the same person and have the same values and positions," says Hofmeister on changing her political parties for the upcoming election.
After serving as Superintendent for the past 7 years, Hofmeister is now running for governor. Hofmeister believes on the things that bring Oklahomans together are education and having a strong economy. She states that having stronger families means "stronger communities" that bring business to Oklahoma which drives local and the state's economy.
Hofmeister continues to say that "Oklahomans value common sense and they value working together and courage." She adds that her campaign is about standing up for Oklahomans and dedicating the time to understand the perspectives across the state.
Her official announcement reads:
“Today, I am announcing two momentous events in my life. First, I am officially leaving the Republican Party and joining my Democratic colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Second, I am announcing my candidacy for Governor of Oklahoma to replace Kevin Stitt.
Coming to these decisions was not easy, but both were 100% necessary. With partisanship and ineffective leadership, Governor Stitt is running our state into the ground. I haven’t changed who I am and my values haven’t changed, but unfortunately, Kevin Stitt has hijacked the Republican Party here in Oklahoma. I’m switching parties in hopes of building the Oklahoma I’ve always known our state can be.
I'm running for Governor as a Democrat because I believe in supporting our children's education, fighting for better health care, and investing in Oklahoma’s infrastructure. Our current Governor does not represent the values that regular Democrats, Independents, or Republicans hold dear. Values like common sense, working together, and courage. Governor Stitt, your time letting Oklahoma fall behind the rest of the country to chase validation from out-of-state extremists is over.
As Governor, I hope to address the concerns of every Oklahoman who feels they have not been heard by the current administration. Unfortunately, in my role as state superintendent, I know just how many Oklahomans feel ignored. In the past decade, I’ve led the way when it comes to improving our schools and ensuring our kids’ safety; however, my work is far from over.
Oklahomans need a leader who is committed to solving problems, not creating division. Our communities need stability and growth that pave the way for better schools, increased access to quality health care, improved infrastructure, and a vibrant economy. Governor Stitt has utterly failed us in this regard, and it’s time Oklahomans were given what they deserve: a chance to thrive.”
In her attempt to bring Oklahoma together, she states that she's ready to "work." Hofmeister says it's important to have strong relationships and conversations with everyone, including the experts needed in conversations.
Governor Stitt's campaign manager, Donelle Harder, gave this statement about Hofmeister's announcement:
“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. Oklahomans across the state overwhelmingly support Stitt’s results-oriented, conservative leadership. After decades of politicians leaving us in last place, Stitt has already established a proven track record of progressing Oklahoma towards Top Ten in critical categories while protecting our freedoms and core values.”
Hofmeister has been vocal about Stitt and his actions as the governor of Oklahoma over various topics, some including education and healthcare.
"We are really more divided than we were before Governor Stitt came and I want to do more to bring Oklahomans together and think of it as one Oklahoma," states Hofmeister.
The election is in 2022. Watch the full announcement video here.
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