Welcome to the Kevin Stitt show.
Oklahomans have elected Stitt to become the 28th governor of their state this evening. The founder and former CEO of Gateway Mortgage Group in Jenks poured millions of his own dollars into a campaign that started toward the rear of a crowded Republican field more than one year ago.
A political novice who ran as an “outsider,” Stitt finished second in the GOP primary, defeated former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in an August runoff and trounced Democrat Drew Edmondson in today’s general election. Stitt received 54.3 percent of the vote to Edmondson’s 42.2 percent.
Around 8:45 p.m., both the Tulsa World and Fox News declared Stitt as the winner over Edmondson and Libertarian Chris Powell.
Stitt’s election was buoyed by strong support in rural Oklahoma and wide coat-tail victories in statewide races down the ballot.
“Tonight, voters chose the conservative principles,” Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs President Jonathan Small said in a statement Tuesday evening. “They want government that is both effective and efficient. They want to keep taxes low and regulations minimal to allow our economy to grow and our people to flourish. It is clear tonight that Oklahomans are tired of tax increases and constant demands for more revenue.”
Stitt will work with a Legislature controlled by broad Republican margins. Incoming Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat (R-OKC) released a statement about Stitt around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday.
“There will be a lot of common ground and shared goals between Governor-elect Stitt and the Oklahoma Senate Republicans,” Treat said. “I’m very excited and optimistic about the future of Oklahoma.”
Lawmakers are expected to have substantial new revenue to allocate beyond last year’s appropriations when the Legislature convenes in early 2019. Education advocates are expected to request the bulk of that money, and Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest issued a statement shortly after Treat did.
“Throughout the campaign, Kevin Stitt talked about making Oklahoma public education one of the best systems in the country,” Priest said. “We look forward to working with Gov. Stitt to make his campaign promise a reality. Education has been the No. 1 issue among voters since April and he will have a very strong education caucus in the state Legislature to help make our children a true priority.”
(Editor’s note: This story was updated at 9:08 p.m., 9:27 p.m. and again at 9:45 p.m. to include additional quotes. It was updated a final time at 10:46 p.m. with final numbers. The Oklahoma State Election Board’s unofficial results can be found here.)
Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell
Former Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell will succeed Todd Lamb as lieutenant governor. Pinnell defeated Sen. Anastasia Pittman (D-OKC) and independent Ivan Holmes. Pinnell received 61.9 percent of the vote with Pittman receiving 34.5 percent and Holmes pulling 3.5 percent.
State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd
Republican Cindy Byrd will succeed her current boss, Gary Jones, as state auditor and inspector. Byrd received three-fourths of the vote compared to Libertarian John Yeutter’s 24.8 percent.
Attorney General Mike Hunter
Attorney General Mike Hunter has achieved what escaped him in 1994: a statewide victory in his bid for Oklahoma’s top law enforcement job. Hunter received 64 percent of the vote, while Democrat Mark Myles received 36 percent. Hunter was appointed to fill former Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s unfinished term in November 2016.
State Treasurer Randy McDaniel
Rep. Randy McDaniel (R-Edmond) has defeated independent Charles de Coune 71.6 percent to 28.4 percent. McDaniel will succeed current State Treasurer Ken Miller, who also served in the Oklahoma Legislature from Edmond before running statewide.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister
Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister has won a second term. Hofmeister earned 58.5 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat John Cox (33.7 percent) and independent Larry Huff (7.7 percent).
Commissioner of Labor Leslie Osborn
Rep. Leslie Osborn (R-Mustang) will succeed Commissioner of Labor Melissa McLawhorn Houston after defeating Democrat Fred Dorrell 61.7 percent to 33.4 percent. Independent Brandt Dismukes pulled 4.8 percent.
Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready
State Rep. Glen Mulready (R-Jenks) will succeed term-limited Insurance Commissioner John Doak after defeating Democrat Kimberly Fobbs 62 percent to 38 percent.
Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony
Incumbent Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony secured a sixth term for the office he has held since 1988. Anthony (60 percent) defeated Democrat Ashley Nicole McCray (34.3 percent) and independent Jackie Short (5.7 percent).