A Tulsan running for state schools superintendent raised more in six months than the incumbent has in a year and a half, campaign records show.
Joy Hofmeister has raised a total of $257,909 through Sept. 30 while schools Superintendent Janet Barresi has raised a total of $236,605. Both are Republicans.
The incumbent's total includes $100,000 she loaned her campaign in June.
Barresi is focused on her educational reforms, not fundraising, and isn't concerned, her campaign manager said.
“The difference isn't all that great,” Barresi's campaign manager, Sam Stone, said. “We know we'll be able to continue raising money throughout this campaign and … certainly we'll be competitive financially.”
Stone also said, “There are an awful lot of Democrats lining up behind Joy and also some people … within the education establishment who have been fighting Janet's reforms from Day One. … They know that the Republican primary is … likely to decide this race so the forces against Janet are all lining up right now.”
Barresi has faced repeated criticism since being elected in 2010 for such things as her leadership and the Education Department's handling of A-F school report cards.
Barresi apologized Oct. 18 for the “delay and confusion” surrounding the school report cards. On Oct. 25, she announced that the department would postpone the public release of those report cards. They could be released as early as Wednesday.
Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Keith Ballard recently sent a letter home to parents that slammed the Education Department for its handling of grade card calculations. “Never in my career have I seen this level of dysfunction and ineptitude coming out of the Oklahoma state Department of Education,” he wrote.
Barresi's latest campaign report was filed Friday with the Ethics Commission, records show. Hofmeister's latest report was filed Thursday.
Those reports show that over the latest reporting period, July 1 to Sept. 30, Hofmeister raised $91,853 while Barresi raised $48,850.
In an email to The Oklahoman, Hofmeister said: “People from communities all across Oklahoma have so warmly embraced my campaign. I've received donations from small businessmen, teachers, stay-at-home moms, and school superintendents alike.
“I think people are supporting me because they know I want to put students and families first, and make sure local school districts have control. The families in our school districts clearly know best how to educate their children, but today we are seeing more and more intrusion from Washington, D.C. That's not the right direction for our kids.”
Hofmeister is a former public schoolteacher who operates a math and reading program for children in south Tulsa. Gov. Mary Fallin appointed her to the state Education Board in January 2012. She announced in April her resignation from the Education Board to run for superintendent.
Five Democrats have filed paperwork with the Ethics Commission stating they are seeking the schools superintendent position.
Two who just recently got started — Ivan Holmes of Oklahoma City and Freda Deskin of Edmond — did not have any contributions as of Sept. 30.
John Cox of Locust Grove had raised the most of the other Democrats — $69,280 total as of Sept. 30. Most of that was from a loan. Donna Anderson of Kingston had $30,559 total and Jack Herron of Norman has $3,950 total.
In other campaigns
Other campaign reports for 2014 races — covering fundraising through Sept. 30 — show:
• Gov Mary Fallin, a Republican, raised $368,243 during the latest reporting period and $1,496,068 overall. No Democrat has filed paperwork for the position yet with the Ethics Commission.
• State Treasurer Ken Miller, a Republican, raised $51,000 during the latest reporting period and $141,864 overall.
• Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a Republican, raised $86,252 during the latest reporting period and $180,530 overall.
• State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones, a Republican, raised $250 during the latest reporting period and $5,755 overall.
• Insurance Commissioner John Doak, a Republican, raised $51,275 in the latest reporting period and $349,111 overall.
• Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, a Republican, loaned his campaign $202,000 in September. That amount also was his overall total.
• Michael Workman of Tulsa, a Democratic candidate for labor commissioner, raised $500 in the latest reporting period and $1,500 overall.
• Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, a Republican, raised $382,488 in the latest reporting period and $432,489 overall. His Democratic challenger, Cathy Cummings, of Oklahoma City, raised $1,750 in the latest reporting period and $2,210 overall.