TULSA - Some predicted a possible primary victory for Republican State Superintendent candidate Joy Hofmeister, but not the whalloping she delivered her opponents, outdistancing the other two candidates combined - including incumbent Janet Barresi - by 16 points.
Hofmeister herself was startled by the victory; she had told KRMG Tuesday evening before the returns came in that she'd see a runoff against an incumbent in state office as a victory.
"This really did come as a surprise," she said Wednesday morning. "I had a speech ready that was very different... I was expecting, certainly, to be in a runoff."
She did it, she says, with a grassroots, low-budget campaign that grew out of the classroom, into the living room, and onto the streets in an outpouring of support with homemade signs, word-of-mouth, and social media driving the engine.
"This grassroots support (put) this success in place, and I don't see that grassroots support changing. I only see that growing."
Asked about what's next, she said she will focus on "moving forward in a united way so we can serve students and address the needs. And those needs are less time on testing and test-prep with the high-stakes nature of tests, and more time freed up for instruction."
"Yes," she continued, "we need to set high expectations for our students and our schools and our teachers. But then, government needs to get out of the way and let teachers teach, and let's get back to focusing on classsroom instruction and meaningful student achievement."
The Democrats will have a runoff to determine their candidate.
John Cox and Freda Deskin will be on the August 26th ballot.