STATE ELECTION

Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt will vie for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in Tuesday’s runoff election. Photos by MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World and MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World


Clarification: This story has been edited to reflect that Mick Cornett's children and grandchildren are from a previous marriage.


OKLAHOMA CITY — The GOP gubernatorial race featuring former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt is entering the final stretch after a hotly contested battle crisscrossing the state.

Voters will decide Tuesday who will face Democrat Drew Edmondson, former attorney general, on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

The winner of the Libertarian runoff featuring Chris Powell and Rex L. Lawhorn will also be on the general election ballot.

Gov. Mary Fallin is serving the final year of her second term and can’t seek re-election to the post.

Cornett and Stitt have gone on the attack in television advertisements and on the campaign trail.

Stitt’s ads question Cornett’s position on immigration and his loyalty to President Donald Trump.

Cornett has defended his record on immigration and said he has a good relationship with Trump. His ads accuse Stitt of not telling the truth about his record, using the phrase “Bull Stitt.”

Cornett is the son of a mailman and a teacher. He holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s in business administration from New York University.

Stitt is the son of a pastor and homemaker. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Oklahoma State University.

Both men are pro-life and support the death penalty.

Stitt has said he would appoint pro-life justices to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, a body that has declared unconstitutional several bills that put additional regulations on abortion.

Cornett has said he would appoint justices who had conservative values, adding that he is not convinced the way the state selects judges is broken. The Judicial Nominating Commission sends three names to the governor.

But the candidates differ dramatically on how they would have funded recent teacher pay raises.

Stitt has said he would not have signed House Bill 1010XX, a tax hike bill to pay for the raises. Instead, savings could be found through efficiencies, he has said.

He plans to audit agencies, which have already been cut by the prior administration due to budget constraints.

Cornett has said he would have signed the tax hike bill to fund teacher pay raises, saying educators deserved it.

Stitt and Cornett said they would have signed a controversial bill Fallin vetoed.

The measure would have allowed people to openly carry a weapon without a permit.

Stitt is a relatively new player in politics, billing himself as a political outsider.

He has not voted in at least the past four elections for governor. He has put in at least $3.7 million into his campaign in the form of loans.

He recently was endorsed by former Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

Stitt's wife is Sarah. The couple has six children.

Cornett married his wife, Terri, in 2014. He has three sons and five grandchildren.

Cornett said he is a complete outsider to state government and is running to fix the mess at the Capitol.

Cornett and Stitt were the top vote earners in the June 26 Republican primary, which featured 10 candidates.

Cornett garnered 29.34 percent of the vote. Stitt attracted 24.41 percent.

Barbara Hoberock

405-528-2465

barbara.hoberock@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @bhoberock