Republicans are spending millions to boost Gov. Kevin Stitt’s reelection bid in deep-red Oklahoma: report

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Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma.

  • The RGA is investing in a “seven figure” ad buy to boost Kevin Stitt’s reelection bid, per Politico.
  • Stitt has faced a barrage of ads criticizing his record, which has made the race competitive.
  • The governor will face Republican-turned-Democrat Joy Hofmeister in the November general election.

Oklahoma GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt in recent weeks has found himself in a tight reelection contest despite the state’s overwhelmingly conservative lean, with national Republicans investing millions of dollars in the race in its final stretch, according to Politico

Stitt, who in 2018 easily defeated former Democratic state Attorney General Drew Edmondson in that year’s gubernatorial election, has found himself in a close race with Joy Hofmeister, the state superintendent of public instruction.

While some polls show healthy leads for the governor, others show Hofmeister, a former Republican who switched to the Democratic Party last year, steadily creeping up. 

The Republican Governors Association, the leading organization for electing more GOP leaders to Governor’s mansions across the country, is leading a “seven figure” advertisement buy to boost the incumbent governor, per Politico.

Stitt — who has governed as a conservative in the deep-red state that overwhelmingly backed former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 —  has faced a barrage of advertisements over his record in office.

According to AdImpact, which monitors advertisements, more than $7 million in advertisements have been reserved by groups to either criticize Stitt’s positions or promote Hofmeister’s candidacy.

Hofmeister’s campaign has booked $1 million in spending as part of the advertisement blitz.

In a rare occurrence, the state’s five largest Native American tribes earlier this month threw their support behind Hofmeister, where they highlighted the importance of the race.

“When it comes to working with the tribal nations in Oklahoma, she understands our sovereignty is not a partisan issue or a threat, but instead is a chance to forge new partnerships while strengthening those that already exist because Oklahomans thrive together when we all work together,” the tribes said in a statement. “This year’s Oklahoma gubernatorial election is the most important in generations for all Oklahomans, and that’s why leaders of the Five Tribes are endorsing Joy Hofmeister to be Oklahoma’s 29th Governor.”

Stitt identifies as a citizen of Cherokee nation, but he clashed with the highly-influential tribes early in his gubernatorial tenure over his now-unsuccessful plan to increase the fees that they paid to run their casinos.

And the governor has eagerly pointed to the tribes as the source of the advertisement campaign.

“It’s the big casino bosses. It’s the big tribes,” he told The Oklahoman.  

Hofmeister in a recent debate defended tribal sovereignty, while Stitt has said that there should be confidence in the state’s rule of law, with potential crimes being prosecuted without any additional requirements posed by tribal sovereignty.

Stitt also sought to link Hofmeister to President Joe Biden, but she rejected the governor’s strategy, stating that she would demonstrate independence and accused him of running through “a national script.”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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