With two months remaining until the Nov. 6 general election, Democratic nominee Drew Edmondson and Republican nominee Kevin Stitt are both vying for the Oklahoma Governor seat, while Libertarian candidate Chris Powell is looking to capitalize on frustration with the established parties among Oklahoma voters.
Former state Attorney General Edmondson clinched the Democratic nomination after the primary election on June 26, while the Republican primacy advanced to a runoff on Aug. 28 between businessman Stitt and former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett. Stitt received 54.6 percent of runoff results, according to the Washington Post, to receive the Republican nomination.
“I’m not from Oklahoma, but living here for about a year now, I saw the disappointment that everyone had with Mary Fallin and how she ended her term in office,” Oklahoma Christian University sophomore Chad Blythe said. “I am excited to see a change in the office of Governor. Whether that be Stitt or Edmondson, I think both would be great Governors and would do great things for Oklahoma.”
Looking toward the general election in November, Edmondson hopes to break the statuesque and become a democratic governor in a heavily red state. Serving as Oklahoma’s attorney general for 16 years, Edmondson said he fought for local business and personal rights. After leaving office in 2011, he has since worked in the private law practice.
According to his website, “from growing up in Muskogee to serving in the Navy and then as Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Drew has spent his entire life fighting for the people of Oklahoma. He stood up to Wall Street, Big Tobacco and the special interests who tried to take advantage of our families, farmers and small businesses. As Governor, he will put Oklahomans first and take on the outside interests and partisan politicians who, every day, are trying to hurt our way of life.”
Stitt, the Founder of Gateway Mortgage, led his company to nationwide growth with a presence in more than 40 states. The political newcomer is now running on a campaign of fiscal responsibility and conservative social values. His vision for Oklahoma is to become top ten in growth, education, infrastructure, healthcare and government efficiency, according to his website.
A fiscal conservative, Stitt said he plans to audit every state agency and allow the people of Oklahoma to see how the government spends their money. He said he will use the knowledge obtained from his success in the business world to better serve the people and business owners of Oklahoma.
“This victory is not about Republicans or Democrats or rural versus urban,” Stitt said after winning the nomination Aug. 28. “This victory is about Oklahomans ending, both politics as usual, and a status quo that has left our state in last place. My passion and my vision has always been to turn Oklahoma into a top ten state.”
Running as a third-party Libertarian candidate, Powell supports lowering the incarceration rate, balancing the state budget and decriminalizing recreational marijuana use, according to his campaign website.
As Oklahoma Christian students prepare to cast their vote for Governor, sophomore Emily Horton said she plans to support Stitt because of his views on the economy.
“I really wanted Mick Cornett to win the republican runoff—I was a huge supporter of him,” Horton said. “Obviously, he didn’t win, so now I am in support of Kevin Stitt. I do not like Gary Edmondson’s views on most economic issues and I believe Kevin Stitt would make for the better candidate.”
Students and faculty can take to the polls on Nov. 6 to decide Oklahoma’s next governor.