CLAREMORE, Oklahoma - The two Republicans running for Oklahoma governor are trading political jabs through attack ads.

Tuesday, Mick Cornett started an ad calling "bull" on Kevin Stitt's advertising. Kevin Stitt calls that the work of a career politician.

 

"So, it’s just typical politicians trying to twist the truth,” Stitt said. “He’s down 10 points in the polls, so that’s why they went negative because he’s trying to hide his liberal record, and it’s hard for him to win straight up so he’s trying to trash an Oklahoma business person.”

Stitt said the fact that he's not an experienced politician is actually his top selling point on the campaign trail. Stitt can legitimately claim the distinction of having no government experience, and he believes voters like that, which could be an advantage.

Stitt does a lot of campaigning at small businesses, like Claremore's Hammett House, where he talked about building a company.

"That’s why I think I'm the right leader and more qualified than my competitors," Stitt said.

He said many of his supporters are looking for a new kind of leadership.

"I think the governor is supposed to set the vision, put the plan together, hire the right people, get the Legislature moving in the right direction, these are leadership things we do every day in the private sector," Stitt said.

Stitt is the founder and owner of Gateway Mortgage in Jenks, a national lender that Stitt said underwrites 3,000 mortgages each month.

He believes most problems in government could benefit from a business perspective.

"It’s all things that point to an outsider, a business person. People inherently know that if we keep electing political insiders, nothing is going to change," the candidate said.

Stitt said his business experience tells him there's waste at all levels of government. He wouldn't speculate on a percentage but said he's sure it's there and used the health department's missing $30 million as the example.

News 9 and News On 6 will feature stories on the Stitt and Cornett campaigns leading up to the runoff election on August 28, 2018.