Ok so. Governor Kevin Stitt mocks Democratic challenger Joy Hofmeister for accurately scoring the state’s crime rate

Comment

During a Wednesday night debate between Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) and his Democratic challenger, Joy Hofmeister, the governor took issue with Hofmeister’s pointing out — with precision — the problem of violent crime in the state. State.

“So let’s talk about the facts: The fact is that violent crime rates are higher in Oklahoma under your watch than in New York or California,” said Hofmeister, who is the state’s superintendent of public instruction. ‘Oklahoma. “That’s a fact.”

Stitt interrupted twice to protest that it wasn’t true. The moderator said this should be checked.

What was not shown during the debate was that Hofmeister was right. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oklahoma has a homicide rate of 9 deaths per 100,000, compared to 6.1 in California and 4.7 in New York.

During the debate, however, Stitt turned and pointed at the audience, his jaw dropping.

“Wait, Oklahomans, do you think we have higher crime than New York or California? That’s what she just said!” he said.

Hofmeister nodded as some in the audience cheered.

“Safety and security is my top priority, and that will be as governor,” she added.

“Thank you very much. Let’s move on to the next question,” the moderator said.

The exchange spread quickly on social media, with many viewers pointing out that a quick fact check would have revealed Hofmeister to be accurate. Attention to the debate also highlighted what polls showed as a close race between Hofmeister and Stitt – unusual in a red state that former President Donald Trump won by 33 points in 2020.

But several factors made the race competitive, even in an election year when the non-ruling party would generally have an advantage. Hofmeister is a longtime former Republican who switched parties last year to challenge Stitt. And Stitt, a member of the Cherokee Nation, has also clashed with the state’s tribal leaders since taking office.

Lisa Billy, Oklahoma’s former secretary of Native American affairs, resigned from Stitt’s cabinet early in his tenure, accusing him of mishandling tribal gaming pacts.

“It has become increasingly clear that you are engaged in an unnecessary conflict that poses a real risk of lasting damage to the Tribal-State relationship and to our economy,” Billy wrote in his 2019 resignation letter, according to the report. ‘Oklahoman.

“You have rejected advice and facts that show the danger of your chosen approach and have remained determined to break with the tribes, both by refusing to engage with the language of the pact and, more recently, by suggesting that you would move our tribal partners with out-of-state commercial gaming operators,” Billy added.

The strained relationship prompted five of the state’s largest tribes to collectively endorse Hofmeister earlier this month.

“When it comes to working with the Oklahoma Tribal Nations, [Hofmeister] understands that our sovereignty is not a partisan issue or a threat, but rather an opportunity to forge new partnerships while strengthening existing ones because Oklahomans thrive together when we all work together,” the Cherokee leaders said. , Chickasaw, Muscogee, Choctaw and the Seminole Nations.

After Wednesday night’s debate, Cherokee Nation Leader Chuck Hoskin Jr. took to Twitter to berate Stitt for suggesting he was open to talking with tribal leaders.

“There have been no invitations to meet Governor Stitt and no meetings are scheduled,” Hoskin tweeted. “That Gov Stitt thinks he can order tribal leaders to come to his office just by saying so on live television says a lot about why [he has] been a failure in state/tribe relations.

Stitt also doubled down on his anti-abortion stance, vowing he’d do Oklahoma”the most pro-life state in the country.” In May, Stitt enacted a measure banning abortions from the time of “fertilization,” effectively banning almost all abortions in the state.

Abortion has been a galvanizing issue for Democratic voters since the Supreme Court overruled in June Roe vs. Wade, which for nearly 50 years guaranteed the right to abortion in the United States. Hofmeister, a lifelong Southern Baptist, said she’s “personally pro-life” but has pledged to overturn Stitt’s abortion ban because she thinks it’s a decision of health between a woman and her doctor.

The Republican Governors Association stepped in to help Stitt in the unusually competitive race, launching a massive ad campaign against Hofmeister this month in an attempt to secure what would normally be a safe GOP office.

Comments are closed.