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In Oklahoma, former Republican Joy Hofmeister will face Gov. Kevin Stitt in November

Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister delivers a report on Epic Charter Schools during a news conference June 21, 2022, in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt and Democratic challenger Hofmeister have massive fundraising advantages over their opponents heading into the primary.
Sue Ogrocki
/
AP
Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister delivers a report on Epic Charter Schools during a news conference June 21, 2022, in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma's Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt and Democratic challenger Hofmeister have massive fundraising advantages over their opponents heading into the primary.

Updated June 28, 2022 at 10:14 PM ET

OKLAHOMA CITY — In Oklahoma, incumbent Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt has won the Republican primary for governor and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Joy Hofmeister, has won the Democratic primary for governor, according to race calls from The Associated Press.

Hofmeister flipped her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat last fall claiming Stitt had hijacked her former party. She has criticized Stitt's handling of the pandemic and referred to his leadership as divisive and ineffective.

The governor, endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has largely held to familiar party lines on guns, abortion and more.

Even in a ruby red state where more than half of voters are registered Republicans and just a third are registered Democrats, Hofmeister is expected to give Stitt some competition in the general election.

Stitt has also touted that he would sign every bill in opposition to abortion that came to his desk and he's arguably done that. In May, he signed into law a bill that was deemed at the time as the most restrictive abortion bill in the country, which effectively banned all abortions beginning at fertilization.

But Stitt's administration has come under fire over the misspending of pandemic relief funds, accusations of improper pressure put upon the state's pardon and parole board and a scandal involving a local barbecue chain operating restaurants at state parks.

In Oklahoma City, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks after signing into law April 12, 2022, that makes it a felony to perform an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Stitt is up for reelection in November.
Sue Ogrocki / AP
/
AP
In Oklahoma City, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks after signing into law April 12, 2022, that makes it a felony to perform an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Stitt is up for reelection in November.

Stitt is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, but his tense standoff with Oklahoma tribes following the McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling in 2020 has drawn the ire of many, including those inside his own party. During a legislative fight with the governor last month, one lawmaker classified Stitt's behavior toward tribes as "racist and hateful."

Copyright 2022 KOSU

Ryan LaCroix
Ryan LaCroix joined KOSU’s staff in 2013. He hosts All Things Considered, Oklahoma Rock Show, Oklahoma Rock Show: Rewind, and Oklahoma Music Minute.