OJ Oleka, Representing a New Generation of Republican Leadership, Launches Kentucky Treasurer Campaign

‘I believe in the American Dream because my family has lived it.’

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2022) – OJ Oleka, accomplished conservative and son of immigrants, announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for Kentucky State Treasurer. Oleka is part of a new generation of Republican leadership that encourages opportunity and new ideas to solve chronic challenges.

“I believe in the American Dream because my family has lived it. My parents came to the United States from Nigeria, where my father grew up in extreme poverty. Through hard work and unwavering faith, they raised our family from poverty to prosperity in a single generation,” said OJ Oleka, Republican candidate for Kentucky State Treasurer. “Kentucky has given so much to my family, and I’m running for State Treasurer to build a Commonwealth where every family has access to opportunity and prosperity.”

If elected, Oleka will be the first Black Kentuckian to serve as State Treasurer.

After graduating from the University of Louisville, Oleka joined Teach for America to help students in low-income communities improve their lives through education. He went on to earn his MBA and Ph.D. from Bellarmine University and later became President of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities.

John McCarthy, former Chair of the Republican Party of Kentucky, endorsed Oleka and highlighted his transformational candidacy. “OJ Oleka represents a new generation of Kentucky Republicans who bring a fresh perspective to solve our Commonwealth’s challenges. I’m proud to endorse OJ for State Treasurer because he has the experience to advance our conservative principles and the vitality to bring new voices into the Republican Party.”

Oleka previously served as Chief of Staff and Deputy Treasurer to Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball. Together, they protected millions of tax dollars, defended private property, and increased transparency in the state budget process.

Oleka is married to Jamie Oleka (née Nunnery) of Morgan County, Kentucky. Jamie, a former principal and public school teacher, met OJ while a senior at Berea College, where they connected over their shared passion for education and leading young people to achieve their goals. OJ and Jamie live in Frankfort with their two daughters. 

Kentuckians can learn more about OJ and his campaign at