Laurel Duggan, DCNF
Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt won his reelection campaign against Oklahoma education superintendent and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joy Hofmeister Tuesday, according to ABC News and Politico.
Politico called the race for Stitt with 80% of the votes in: Stitt won 56.1% compared to Hofmeister’s 39.9%. The tight race drew massive funding from both sides of the aisle, with the Republican Governors Association announcing a seven-figure ad buy in support of Stitt following $7 million in ad spending either attacking Stitt or supporting Hofmeister.
The close race shows change since the last election: Former President Donald Trump won a massive majority in Oklahoma in 2020, bringing in 65.4% compared to Biden’s 32.3%. Hofmeister, a lifelong Republican, ran as a Democrat in this election and has boasted of her moderation and Republican past.
“I was a Republican longer than Governor Stitt was registered to vote,” she told Time. “I’m fiscally conservative. I’m aggressively moderate. Always have been.”
Stitt won his 2018 race by 12 points, but his reelection campaign was plagued with turmoil over his dispute with Oklahoma’s five largest Native American tribes, who threw their support behind Hofmeister. The massive funding for ads promoting Hofmeister and attacking Stitt are largely opaque, and Stitt suggested the tribes were behind it.
“It’s the big casino bosses,” Stitt told The Oklahoman. “It’s the big tribes.”
Stitt has also been subject to criticism for signing controversial bills on abortion and transgender issues. Stitt began his first term as governor in January 2019.
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