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.
The group is far-reaching and represents a broad spectrum of the state. Seven of the lawmakers serve on leadership teams in the House and Senate; eight serve on education committees.
“I’ve been waiting to see if there is a desire for change, both from people who might donate or volunteer, but also from leaders within the Republican Party. With today’s announcement, I think I have my answer,” said Hofmeister, a Tulsa business owner and education professional.
“We also have nearly 1,000 donors from business owners to dentists and physicians, from pastors to teachers, from parents to school administrators who are looking for new leadership,” she said.
Hofmeister said she would announce a final decision about her race for state school superintendent within the next two weeks.
“Education requires leadership, not dictatorship; leadership that appreciates all of our schools and communities; that understands one size doesn’t fit all; that believes in our educators and understands they can be great teammates in providing the best for our students,” said House Republican Whip Todd Thomsen of Ada.
“We need leadership that is bold, yet humble; that has a vision, but includes others in that vision; that knows the future of our kids is worth investing in; leadership that brings back the joy of education. Joy Hofmeister is that kind of leader,” Thomsen said.
State Sen. A.J. Griffin of Guthrie said, “Vision and leadership are sorely lacking at the State Department of Education. It’s time we return local authority to parents, teachers and local communities. That’s what we, as conservatives, believe.”
Rep. Lee Denney of Cushing, head of the House Education Appropriations Committee, said, “We’re ready for a positive approach to education; for parents, educators and lawmakers to work together to implement the school reforms Oklahoma kids deserve. I’m convinced Joy will get the job done.”
“Joy puts Oklahoma education back in the hands of Oklahoma educators where it belongs. We need a person who will make Oklahoma a leader in education, not one who makes us follow every other state,” said Rep. Gus Blackwell of Laverne.
“Joy Hofmeister is a dynamic business woman with a proper background in education. She will make a terrific superintendent and I support her wholeheartedly. As Republicans, we have to support positive and visionary leadership and a professional approach to education,” said Rep. Glen Mulready of Jenks.
The 20 Republican lawmakers are Sen. Patrick Anderson of Enid, 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.
“We need a school superintendent who understands the plight of rural schools, and supports our efforts to maintain local control. 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,” said state Sen. Patrick Anderson of Enid.
Rep. Katie Henke of Tulsa said, “Joy Hofmeister is a strong and respected leader in education. She understands the need for open communication and collaboration in improving our schools, and will work tirelessly to ensure that our education system is one we can all be proud of.”
Rep. Dennis Casey of Morrison said, “It is so important when navigating any type of change that the ones who are asked to make those changes have the trust and confidence in the person leading those changes. Joy will work hard to gain that trust and build confidence in the team. We are all on the same team with a single objective to help our students.”
Sen. Eddie Fields of Wynona said, “We need a state school superintendent who knows the challenges of rural schools as well as those of inner city schools, who will work with parents, educators, administrators and lawmakers to address those challenges while providing the best possible education for our state’s greatest resource, our children and grandchildren and that person is Joy Hofmeister.”
Rep. Arthur Hulbert of Fort Gibson said, “Oklahoma needs a state school superintendent who listens and is committed to more local control. This is why I support Joy Hofmeister.”
Barrington said today’s announcement sends a very strong message that these legislators support education, along with parental and local control of education.
“I think it’s a strong statement that Republican leaders will step forward when there’s a problem and make a change.”
“I think this is only the beginning of GOP leadership calling for a new and more conservative approach. We have here today Republican lawmakers saying to parents and teachers, ‘We hear you’,” Thomsen said.
Joy Hofmeister Advisory Board
Sen. Patrick Anderson of Enid
Rep. Don Armes of Faxon
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 Arcadia
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 Springer
Rep. Todd Thomsen of Ada