It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister is running for governor, but would many have expected her to flip parties on her way into the race?
Hofmeister didn’t mince words about Gov. Kevin Stitt, telling the Tulsa World that Stitt is “running the state into the ground.” And “through extremism, partisanship, ineffective leadership, he is hurting our education system, our health care, our infrastructure.”
And, if you think about it, she dominated the news cycle at a time when Stitt was touring the southern border.
She switched parties and almost immediately became the Democratic primary frontrunner.
The Democrats welcomed her.
It’s kind of wild.
Could she not have just tried for the primary? Or had she actually lost hope for the party?
With statements that extremism has taken over the Republican Party, she seems to be intimating that perhaps she didn’t leave the party so much as it left her.
“I am changing parties, but I haven’t changed who I am,” she told the Tulsa World. “I have the same values, and they haven’t changed.”
Hofmeister is betting on the electorate’s dissatisfaction with Stitt’s pandemic response, but who can say at this point if that will still have momentum next November?
Hofmeister has proven she can win votes, even more than the governor, but can she do that as a Democrat in a state where every time there is a new batch of registration numbers Republicans gain more than Democrats?
She is also staring down a war chest in the Stitt campaign that will probably be several million dollars by next year.
Then again, how many people and powerful organizations are motivated to help out Hofmeister’s campaign? Educators. Healthcare workers. The tribes.
We couldn’t imagine a much more compelling scenario unless Bob Stoops entered the race.