Joy Hofmeister, GOP defector, wins Democratic nomination for Oklahoma governor


OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister, a lifelong Republican who switched parties last year, won the Democratic nomination Tuesday in the governor’s race.

Hofmeister defeated longtime Democratic Party activist and former state Sen. Connie Johnson in Tuesday’s primary.

Hofmeister said she switched parties because she wanted to challenge Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who easily won the GOP nomination Tuesday over three Republican challengers.

Hofmeister upset a GOP incumbent in 2014 to become superintendent and won reelection in 2018. She and Stitt clashed over the governor’s push to prohibit mask mandates in schools during the coronavirus pandemic and his support for a voucher plan that would divert public funds to private schools.

Independent Ervin Yen, an Oklahoma City anesthesiologist and former Republican state senator, and Libertarian Natalie Bruno of Edmond also will be on the November ballot.

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