Tulsa Businessman Kevin Stitt Wins GOP Nomination For Governor
Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt is the Republican nominee for the Oklahoma gubernatorial election in November.
Stitt will face Democratic candidate and former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson and Libertarian candidate Chris Powell.
Starting with a loaded pack of 10 in the Republican primary, the choice was whittled down to former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Stitt.
The race for the nomination became fraught after television ads attacked Stitt’s business practices and Cornett’s loyalties to then Republican candidate for president Donald Trump.
Cornett and Stitt faced off in a News 9/News On 6 debate in early August and discussed a range of topics the next governor may face.
But for some Republican voters in Oklahoma City, President Donald Trump and his policies had little effect on who they vote for in Tuesday's GOP runoff for governor.
Voter Marveta Williams, an 80-year-old retiree, said she voted for Cornett but does not like Trump and wishes "he wouldn't be quite so vulgar."
Voter Janet Cook said she also voted for Cornett and that someone who aligns themselves with Trump is not likely to get her vote. Cook, a 63-year-old interior designer, said Trump is doing some good things but displays "poor manners."
Unfortunately for Cornett, other Republican voters across the state did not share similar views and Stitt prevailed.
After thanking his supporters at a watch party in Tulsa, Stitt took to Twitter to thank voters.
THANK YOU! On behalf of my entire family, my staff, and all our volunteers and supporters I want to say thank you for your vote, and for helping us move on to the General Election in November. Tonight was another big step forward. Now, it’s time to go win in November! pic.twitter.com/AeHdAicYpa— Kevin Stitt (@StittforGov) August 29, 2018
Edmondson released the following statement after the election was called for Stitt:
I congratulate Kevin on winning his party’s nomination. Now that the runoff elections are behind us, I am hopeful he will join me in offering real solutions to the very real problems in our state.
As I’ve talked to everyday Oklahomans in every corner of the state, they tell me that they’re tired of political slogans and mudslinging. They tell me they want better schools. They want access to good hospitals. They want services for our veterans. They want leadership at our capitol.
We can’t afford four more years of the same flawed policies and misguided schemes that have pulled us to the bottom in so many important areas like education, health care and mental health.
It’s time for a governor who is willing to do the hard work and make the tough decisions. It’s time for a governor who understands that open, transparent government is good government. It’s time for a governor who stands up for the people, not the special interests. It’s time for a common-sense governor who can make our state work again.
"Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy. I’m grateful for all Oklahomans who voiced their opinions in the primary elections this year. I anticipate seeing Republicans come together in unity to articulate a vision that helps Oklahoma families and communities,” Sen. James Lankford said in a statement obtained by Gaylord News.
The general election is on Nov. 6.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.