It was the most talked about political ad during the Republican runoff race for Governor. But in the end, the “Bull Stitt" ad didn't do enough, and some say it hurt Former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in his race against Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt.
I recently sat down with Cornett and asked him if he regrets that ad and about life after politics.
Robin Marsh: Even when we were walking in, I could still sense a sense of disappointment in your voice about losing the election.
Mick Cornett: I think disappointment is a good word for it. I'm not bitter and I don't regret running.
Robin Marsh: Is that kind of hard to realize that you are not going to be governor?
Mick Cornett: Well you step back and every once in a while, I’ll catch myself with some idea that I was really excited about implementing and realize that I am not going to implement that plan.
Being the front runner for the Republicans after the primary in June, the former Oklahoma City Mayor says reality has set in.
“There is an immediate let down and I felt like I let some people down when we didn’t win in that last few days of august,” he said. “Not everyone gets to win and there were 10 republicans in the race and finishing second was not what I wanted, but at the end of the day I have to accept it and move on.”
Robin Marsh: Do you have any regrets?
Mick Cornett: No, I certainly don't have any regrets on getting in the race. You know you can always go back to the campaign and say ‘maybe if we'd done this or that’ but in general, I was who I was. I tried to stick to my philosophies.
Cornett believes the downturn for his campaign came when TV ads made him look like a political insider. He told me that is when he started dropping in the polls. And, I had to ask him about the “Bull Stitt” ad, which touched a nerve with some people.
Robin Marsh: Do you think a turning point was that ad about Bull Stitt?
Mick Cornett: I think responding to that seems to imply that I’m overly focused on what happened in the campaign or I’m still weighing it in my mind, or I’m bitter and I’m not. And I don’t want to say anything at this point that makes it sound like I’m not over it or not moving on, because I am.
And here is what Cornett told me one week ago when I asked him about endorsing republican Kevin Stitt.
“Well, we'll see. I mean there is still some time remaining, let the campaign unfold a little bit,” Cornett said. “But I don't have any announcement to make tonight.”
But on Thursday, Cornett’s decision was made. He endorsed Kevin Stitt for governor saying in a statement "I believe Kevin Stitt is the right candidate to move Oklahoma forward, to raise the standards on education and health, and to demand better outcomes from our state government."
Cornett has many opportunities in front of him including traveling the country touting his first book, “The Next American City.”
“No city has come as far as fast as Oklahoma City has,” he said. “And that's why so many other cities across the country are paying attention to what happened here and trying to figure out how they can make some of that happen in their places.”
Cornett's book can be found at Full Circle Books. It's currently the top selling nonfiction book in Oklahoma.