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Barresi, Hofmeister face off in televised debate

By KIM ARCHER - Tulsa World Modified: June 20, 2014 at 5:48 am •  Published: June 20, 2014

The top Republican candidates for Oklahoma superintendent of public instruction traded barbs in a televised debate Thursday night, less than a week before the primary election.

Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to decide which candidates from both parties will continue on to the general election in November or the Aug. 26 runoff.

Incumbent Janet Barresi continued to describe herself as the candidate who is fighting “education bureaucrats and unions,” while painting challenger Joy Hofmeister as one of those bureaucrats because of the educators who have donated to her campaign.

But Hofmeister noted that Barresi hasn’t actually fought the unions, as she hired the “top lobbyist for the teacher’s union” as her chief of staff. Joel Robison was associate executive director and chief lobbyist for the Oklahoma Education Association before resigning to become Barresi’s chief of staff in December 2011.

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