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.
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.”