Tahlequah Daily Press

Z_CNHI News Service

January 8, 2014

Sen. Anderson endorses Hofmeister for state school superintendent

ENID, Okla. — Enid state Sen. Patrick Anderson is one of 20 Republican lawmakers to endorse Joy Hofmeister for state school superintendent.

Hofmeister, who has not yet announced her candidacy, said the GOP lawmakers will form a steering committee to advise her as she prepares to launch a statewide campaign. Seven of the lawmakers serve on leadership teams in the House and Senate. Eight serve on education committees.

“I’m honored to have the support of such outstanding Republican leaders, and I will lean heavily on them for advice and counsel as we try to rebuild our commitment to rural education,” Hofmeister said.

Anderson said rural schools are important.

“We need a school superintendent who understands the plight of rural schools and supports our efforts to maintain local control,” he said. “Joy Hofmeister is that person, and I’m pleased to be advising her. She’s waging a statewide campaign to bring respect, reform and cooperation back to education, and I believe that’s important as we work to increase accountability and student performance.

“It should never be about politics; it should be about students and performance,” Anderson said.

Other Republican lawmakers endorsing Hofmeister are Rep. Don Armes of Cache; Sen. Don Barrington of Lawton; Rep. Gus Blackwell of Laverne; Rep. Dennis Casey of Morrison; Rep. Lee Denney of Cushing; Rep. David Derby of Owasso; Rep. Dale DeWitt of Braman; Sen. Eddie Fields of Wynona; Sen. A.J. Griffin of Guthrie; Rep. Katie Henke of Tulsa; Rep. Arthur Hulbert of Fort Gibson; Rep. Skye McNeil of Bristow; Rep. Lewis Moore of Edmond; Rep. Glen Mulready of Jenks; Rep. Jadine Nollan of Sand Springs; Rep.. Charles Ortega of Altus; Rep. Dustin Roberts of Durant; Sen. Frank Simpson of Ardmore; and House Republican Whip Todd Thomsen of Ada.

Hofmeister said she has been waiting to see if there is a desire for change from GOP leaders before announcing her candidacy.

“With today’s announcement, I think I have my answer,” she said.

A Tulsa business owner and education professional, Hofmeister said she would announce a final decision about her race for state school superintendent within the next two weeks.

Incumbent State Superintendent Janet Barresi, a Republican, is facing several challengers for her position, including at least four Democrats and Hofmeister, if she chooses to run.

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