Feud with tribes threatens Governor’s reelection

The Associated Press - October 22, 2022 8:01 am

Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, right, listens as his Democratic challenger Joy Hofmeister, the state’s public schools superintendent, speaks during a debate at Will Rogers Theatre in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. (Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman via AP)

ADA, Okla. (AP) — Many of the 39 Native American tribes based in Oklahoma have played a role in state politics for decades, often quietly and behind the scenes. However, this year many are wielding their considerable influence more openly to oppose a second term for Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Himself a Cherokee citizen, Stitt is facing a tough reelection challenge after feuding with the tribes for nearly his entire first term. With the election just weeks away, five of the state’s most powerful tribes jointly endorsed Stitt’s Democratic opponent Joy Hofmeister, the state’s public schools superintendent who has promised a more cooperative relationship.

The result is an unexpectedly tight race in a deep-red state that is typically an afterthought in national politics.

 

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