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Oklahoma schools leader switches parties to run for governor

Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister will run as a Democrat to challenge Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt for governor next year.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The head of Oklahoma public schools will switch parties and run as a Democrat to challenge Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt for governor next year. 

Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister made the announcement Thursday, accusing Stitt of “running our state into the ground.” 

Hofmeister is a former schoolteacher and was elected in 2014. 

She was reelected in 2018 and oversaw Oklahoma schools during a tumultuous time that included massive protests and walkouts over teacher pay and school funding. 

She can’t run for the post again because of term limits. 

Stitt is running for his second term as Oklahoma governor. 

A spokeswoman for Stitt’s reelection campaign says the governor has worked to boost public education funding and raise teacher pay while lowering taxes.

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