OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Kevin Stitt beat back challenger Joy Hofmeister in the race for Oklahoma Governor. AP has projected Kevin Stitt to be the winner.

Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) has been Oklahoma’s governor for the last four years, much of which was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. While many places across the country closed down to slow the spread of COVID-19, Stitt pushed for Oklahoma to open earlier than other places in order to keep the economy stable.

Stitt has consistently said that he wanted to make Oklahoma a “Top Ten” state, and also wanted Oklahoma to be the most “business friendly” state in the nation.

During his time as governor, Oklahoma’s unemployment rate hit a record low and became the third lowest in the country.

However, Stitt’s term has been littered with controversy ranging from a feud over tribal gaming compacts, Oklahoma’s use of COVID-19 funds, and a controversial contract with Swadley’s BBQ,

images of kevin stitt and joy jofmeister
Kevin Stitt and Joy Hofmeister

His Democratic opponent was current Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister.

Originally registered as a Republican, Hofmeister has served as the Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction since 2015.

During her time as state superintendent, Hofmeister has pushed for better teacher pay, solving the teacher shortage, and protecting children in the classroom.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Hofmeister battled Gov. Stitt over mask mandates in classrooms and plans to keep schools open.

After conceding the race, Hofmeister said the fight for Oklahoma’s students isn’t over.

“This campaign was about reclaiming our state for our children. Tomorrow that journey continues anew,“ Hofmeister said.

“If we’ve learned anything we know that preparing our next generation takes consistent tending and focus …Let’s keep fighting for every opportunity and resource that Oklahoma’s children deserve,“ she added.

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Chief Gary Batton released the following statement regarding the re-election of Gov. Kevin Stitt:

“Although the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma endorsed Gov. Stitt’s opponent, we remain open to cooperating with the administration for the benefit of all Oklahomans.

We hope Gov. Stitt’s second term will be marked by an understanding of the economic, cultural and social benefits Tribes provide to our state, and that he will agree to work with us on issues affecting all residents. As always, we seek to focus on the things we can agree on, rather than our differences.”