OKLAHOMA
     Nov. 6, 2018 Governor

Gov.
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+Kevin Stitt (R)
644,579
54.33%
Drew Edmondson (D)
500,973
42.23%
Chris Powell (L)
40,833
3.44%

1,186,385

Plurality 143,606 votes (12.10 percentage points).
  OK State Election Board



Notes:  Oklahoma is a very Republican state; in 2016 Trump carried
its seven electoral votes by a margin of 36.39 percentage points.  Still there was an opening for Democrats.  Term-limited
Gov. Mary Fallin (R) was among the most unpopular governors in the nation in 2018; indeed the Morning Consult report of July 26, 2018 found her the least popular with an approval rating of 19-percent; critics described her as a "pawn of big oil" who was too cautious and had failed to diversify the state's economy (+)

Education and health care are major issues that were discussed throughout the campaign.  In April, Oklahoma teachers staged a nine-day strike (+).  The state is one of 14 that has rejected federal funding to expand Medicaid.

The June 26 Republican primary saw a crowded field of ten candidates; the top two were headed for a runoff on Aug. 28.  Mick Cornett, who served four terms as Mayor of Oklahoma City, from March 2004-April 2018, finished first with 29.34%.  He had established a national reputation, having served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2016-17.  Finishing second with 24.41% was Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt, who ran as an outsider.  He founded Gateway Mortgage in 2000 and built it up to a company with 1,200 employees.  Falling just short of making the runoff was Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb at 23.86%.  Two months later Stitt went on to win the runoff by 54.56% to 45.44%.

Drew Edmondson won the June 26 Democratic primary by a margin of 61.38% to 38.62% over Connie Johnson.  Edmondson served as Attorney General of Oklahoma from 1995-2001 and since then has worked as an attorney.  He ran for governor in 2010 but lost in the primary to Jeri Askins; he also waged an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 1992.  Edmondson served as Muskogee County District Attorney from 1983-1992.  He is a U.S. Navy veteran including service in Vietnam.

The Libertarians went to a runoff.  In the June 26 Chris Powell finished ahead of Rex Lawhorn by 48.90% to 32.43% of the 3,558 votes cast.  Powell then won the Aug. 28 runoff by 59.07% to 40.93% of 926 votes cast.

The two major party candidates met for a debate organized by The Oklahoman at Oklahoma City Museum of Art on Sept. 24 (1, 2); there was one statewide televised debate on KOCO 5 from Oklahoma City on Oct. 25 (+).

The National Institute on Money in Politics reported the Stitt campaign raised contributions of at least $10.7 million, including $4.8 million in loans from the candidate, while the Edmondson campaign tallied contributions of at least $4.0 million (+).

Campaign Managers:
Kevin Stitt: 
Aamon Ross
"he was a consultant to a variety of companies and industries and negotiated large scale national contracts.  Additionally, Ross has owned several small businesses and lead [sic] numerous teams while working in medical device sales for over 14 years."


Drew Edmondson:  Mike Clingman
Director of the Oklahoma Coalition for Workers Rights from Jan. 2015.  Regional director at WCRI, Jan. 2014-Jan. 2015.  Administrator of the Oklahoma Workers Compensation Court, Jan. 2011-Jan. 2014.  Director of the Oklahoma office of State Finance, Dec. 2008-Jan. 2011.  B.A. from the University of Central Oklahoma.



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