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Ex-mayor, businessman in GOP runoff for Oklahoma governor

A former Oklahoma City mayor and a Tulsa businessman who ran as a political outsider are advancing to an August runoff in the race to become Oklahoma's next governor

Published on June 27, 2018 9:40AM

Last changed on June 27, 2018 1:38PM

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mick Cornett, center, laughs as volunteer Sherri Boyd, right, pins a Cornett pin on volunteer Tom Caraway, left, during his watch party in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Associated Press

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mick Cornett, center, laughs as volunteer Sherri Boyd, right, pins a Cornett pin on volunteer Tom Caraway, left, during his watch party in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2018, file photo, Kevin Stitt, candidate for the Republican nomination for Oklahoma Governor, speaks in Guthrie, Okla. Stitt is among a large group of Republicans running for the nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2018, file photo, Kevin Stitt, candidate for the Republican nomination for Oklahoma Governor, speaks in Guthrie, Okla. Stitt is among a large group of Republicans running for the nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett formally kicks off his campaign for Oklahoma Governor at an event in Oklahoma City. Cornett is among a large group of Republicans running for the nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Oct. 18, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett formally kicks off his campaign for Oklahoma Governor at an event in Oklahoma City. Cornett is among a large group of Republicans running for the nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who is running in the Republican primary for Governor, listens during a Board of Equalization meeting in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma voters are heading to the polls to narrow the field of candidates in an open governorís race in a year that saw massive demonstrations from teachers at the state Capitol. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who is running in the Republican primary for Governor, listens during a Board of Equalization meeting in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma voters are heading to the polls to narrow the field of candidates in an open governorís race in a year that saw massive demonstrations from teachers at the state Capitol. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb listens during a Board of Equalization meeting in Oklahoma City. Lamb is among a large group of Republicans running for the nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb listens during a Board of Equalization meeting in Oklahoma City. Lamb is among a large group of Republicans running for the nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2016, file photo, former Oklahoma state Sen. Connie Johnson speaks in Oklahoma City. Johnson is running for the Democratic nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Oct. 19, 2016, file photo, former Oklahoma state Sen. Connie Johnson speaks in Oklahoma City. Johnson is running for the Democratic nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

FILE - In this April 24, 2017, file photo, Gary Richardson announces his candidacy for governor of Oklahoma in Oklahoma. Richardson is among a large group of Republicans running for the nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The Associated Press

FILE - In this April 24, 2017, file photo, Gary Richardson announces his candidacy for governor of Oklahoma in Oklahoma. Richardson is among a large group of Republicans running for the nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

FILE - In this May 1, 2017, file photo, Drew Edmondson, a former prosecutor and four-term Oklahoma attorney general, speaks during a news conference outside the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. Edmondson is running for the Democratic nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The Associated Press

FILE - In this May 1, 2017, file photo, Drew Edmondson, a former prosecutor and four-term Oklahoma attorney general, speaks during a news conference outside the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. Edmondson is running for the Democratic nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma state Auditor Gary Jones sits during an interview in Oklahoma City. Jones is among a large group of Republicans running for the nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma state Auditor Gary Jones sits during an interview in Oklahoma City. Jones is among a large group of Republicans running for the nomination for Oklahoma Governor. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mick Cornett, right, gives a telephone interview during his watch party in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The Associated Press

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mick Cornett, right, gives a telephone interview during his watch party in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Kevin Stitt speaks to supporters at his watch party for Oklahoma Governor candidate Kevin Stitt at Gateway Mortgage in Jenks, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World via AP)

The Associated Press

Kevin Stitt speaks to supporters at his watch party for Oklahoma Governor candidate Kevin Stitt at Gateway Mortgage in Jenks, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World via AP)

Kevin Stitt talks to supporters at his watch party for Oklahoma Governor candidate Kevin Stitt at Gateway Mortgage in Jenks, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World via AP)

The Associated Press

Kevin Stitt talks to supporters at his watch party for Oklahoma Governor candidate Kevin Stitt at Gateway Mortgage in Jenks, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World via AP)

Drew Edmondson greets his supporters at a watch party for his campaign for governor at Baxter's Interurban Grill in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Edmondson has defeated ex-state Sen. Connie Johnson to win the Democratic nomination in the race to be the state's next governor. (Morgan Hornsby/Tulsa World via AP)

The Associated Press

Drew Edmondson greets his supporters at a watch party for his campaign for governor at Baxter's Interurban Grill in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Edmondson has defeated ex-state Sen. Connie Johnson to win the Democratic nomination in the race to be the state's next governor. (Morgan Hornsby/Tulsa World via AP)

Drew Edmondson speaks to his supporters at a watch party for his campaign for governor at Baxter's Interurban Grill in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Edmondson has defeated ex-state Sen. Connie Johnson to win the Democratic nomination in the race to be the state's next governor. (Morgan Hornsby/Tulsa World via AP)

The Associated Press

Drew Edmondson speaks to his supporters at a watch party for his campaign for governor at Baxter's Interurban Grill in Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Edmondson has defeated ex-state Sen. Connie Johnson to win the Democratic nomination in the race to be the state's next governor. (Morgan Hornsby/Tulsa World via AP)

Kevin Stitt speaks to supporters at his election watch party for Oklahoma Governor candidate Kevin Stitt at Gateway Mortgage in Jenks, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018.  (Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World via AP)

The Associated Press

Kevin Stitt speaks to supporters at his election watch party for Oklahoma Governor candidate Kevin Stitt at Gateway Mortgage in Jenks, Okla., Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World via AP)


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) ó A former Oklahoma City mayor and a Tulsa businessman who ran as a political outsider are advancing to a runoff for the Republican nomination in the race to become Oklahoma's next governor.

Mick Cornett, a former four-term mayor, advanced to an Aug. 28 runoff with Kevin Stitt, who leveraged his status as an outsider to knock off Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, the early favorite and the establishment pick to win the nomination.

Stitt, the founder of Gateway Mortgage Company, also had a $4.2 million campaign war chest, the most of any candidate in the race, and tapped into an anti-incumbency mood among the Oklahoma electorate that resulted in six Republican incumbents getting bounced from office on Tuesday.

"I think we need some new blood," said retired teacher Cindy Hazelwood, 64, who said she voted for Stitt in Oklahoma City.

Stitt's fundraising total also included $2.1 million in personal loans to his campaign.

With no race for the U.S. Senate this cycle, much of the money and attention focused on the 15 candidates trying to succeed term-limited Gov. Mary Fallin.

Cornett, who served four terms as mayor, helped oversee a revitalization of the state's capital city that included landing an NBA basketball team.

Other candidates in the GOP field included Tulsa trial attorney Gary Richardson, state Auditor Gary Jones and ex-state Rep. Dan Fisher, a fiery Baptist preacher whose campaign centers on the abolition of abortion.

On the Democratic side of the governor's race, former four-term state Attorney General Drew Edmondson, 71, secured the nomination over ex-state Sen. Connie Johnson, 66, the party's nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

Johnson, a longtime marijuana legalization advocate, had hoped to leverage her popularity with pot supporters to pull an upset over Edmondson, whose $1.5 million in contributions was more than 20 times as much as she raised.

Two Libertarian candidates also advanced to a runoff: Chris Powell and Rex Lawhorn.

Oklahoma's next governor will take over as head of a state government just beginning to rebound after facing several consecutive years of cuts to agency budgets. Revenue collections have been steadily increasing over the last year, and lawmakers this year already approved a series of tax increases to fund pay raises for teachers and help shore up the state budget.

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Follow Sean Murphy at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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