Following State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister's announcement that she is leaving the Republican Party to run for governor as a Democrat, the state GOP responded by saying they were glad to see her go.
"I'm glad that Joy Hofmeister is actually admitting to what many so-called Republicans, including some that are currently serving as elected Republican officials, are proving they aren't really Republicans but in fact they tricked the voters by simply changing their party affiliation just to get elected," said party chair John Bennett in a fundraising video posted to Facebook on Friday.
Bennett, who switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican before his first run for state House in 2010 per records from the Oklahoma State Board of Elections, said Hofmeister is one of a number of "RINOs" -- "Republicans In Name Only" -- who should be purged from the party.
"Thank you, Joy Hofmeister, for proving my point," Bennett said. "The R behind our names must mean something, and we must adhere to our binding and unifying document that is our party platform," which he said includes things like opposing teachers unions that Hofmeister supported since being elected superintendent as a Republican.
Hofmeister announced her party switch and gubernatorial run on Thursday, blasting Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who is running for reelection in 2022. Hofmeister will challenge former Democratic Oklahoma City state Sen. Connie Johnson in the June primary before the November general election.