State schools Superintendent Janet Barresi has loaned more than $1 million to her two campaigns for the state's top education post, her fundraising reports show.
Barresi, a dentist, loaned $350,000 last year to her re-election campaign, reports show.
The Edmond Republican loaned her first campaign $731,345, eventually repaying herself about $60,000, the reports show.
“She's put her money where her mouth is,” her campaign manager, Sam Stone, said.
“She's not running for another office. She's not using this as a boost to her career. The only special interest in Janet's world is the kids,” he said. “And that's why she's doing this. And that's why she's willing to put her own money up.”
Her Republican challenger, Joy Hofmeister, complained the superintendent is spending that much money to buy herself the job.
“It's troubling that an out-of-control millionaire is so obsessed with wrecking education in Oklahoma, that she would spend that kind of personal money to continue the reign of terror she has forced upon our parents, kids and teachers,” Hofmeister said. “I think Oklahomans won't allow that to happen this year.”
Hofmeister is a former public schoolteacher who operates a math and reading program for children in south Tulsa.
With last year's loans, Barresi raised a total of $525,755 as of Dec. 31.
Hofmeister raised a total of $321,663 last year, the reports show.
The latest campaign contribution reports were due Friday at the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.
Five Democrats are seeking the schools superintendent position.
Raising the most so far among the Democrats is John Cox, of Locust Grove. His total is $136,894 as of Dec. 31.
Also, as of Dec. 31, Ivan Holmes, of Oklahoma City, raised a total of $7,400, Freda Deskin, of Edmond, raised a total of $101,497, Donna Anderson of Kingston raised a total of $46,811 and Jack Herron, of Norman, had $9,810.
In other races, as of Dec. 31, Gov. Mary Fallin, a Republican, has raised a total of $2,163,321.
Republican Randy Brogdon, of Owasso, has raised a total of $12,962 in his bid to challenge Fallin. Potential Democratic contender Joe Dorman, of Rush Springs, has raised a total of $102,983, and another Democrat, Richardjason Satank Harris, of Norman, has raised a total of $150.
State Treasurer Ken Miller, a Republican, raised a total of $312,369.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a Republican, raised a total of $287,091.
State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones, a Republican, raised a total of $22,205.
Insurance Commissioner John Doak, a Republican, raised a total of $365,466.
Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, a Republican, raised a total of $229,000. None of that total came from outside donations. He loaned his campaign $202,000 in September and contributed $27,000 in December.
Michael Workman, of Tulsa, a Democratic candidate for labor commissioner, raised $2,000.
Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, a Republican, raised a total of $758,204. “As I travel across our state, I am deeply encouraged and humbled by the support we are receiving,” Lamb said.
His Democratic challenger, Cathy Cummings, of Oklahoma City, raised a total of $3,400.