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2018 gubernatorial race

Candidates lined up at the State Capitol on April 11 to file to run for office.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

When Oklahomans return to the polls to select the state’s next governor and a host of statewide and legislative officers, they will be making their choices without potentially decisive information.

Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates, 2018
Oklahoma Watch

All of a sudden last week, 15 candidates in the Oklahoma governor’s race were pared to five: one Democrat, two Libertarians, two Republicans.

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

 

On this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley assess the results of Oklahoma’s June 26, 2018 primary election.

Voters approved State Question 788, which will legalize medical marijuana, by 58 percent. And approximately 25,000 more people cast votes for 788 than did for the governor’s race.

Voters wait in line at a polling station in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Tuesday’s primary elections settled some lingering questions but raised a host of others.

In a historic vote, voters in one of the nation’s most conservative states indicated a readiness to legalize medical marijuana. And Oklahoma’s Republican voters decided that their choice for the next leader of the state will come down to former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt.

Mick Cornett speaks to his supporters after advancing to the Republican runoff primary election.
Joe Wertz / Oklahoma Engaged

Former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett will face Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt in a runoff for the Republican nomination for governor. 

Voters cast ballots at the Oklahoma County Election Board Thursday, the first day of voting for the June 26 elections. The slate includes primary races for statewide offices and legislative seats, as well as State Question 788 on medical marijuana.
Jeff Raymond / Oklahoma Watch

Voters began casting early ballots Thursday, beginning the process to select a new governor, fill most statewide offices and legislative seats, and decide the controversial ballot question on medical marijuana.

Kevin Stitt, candidate for the Republican nomination for Oklahoma Governor, speaks in Guthrie, Okla., Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Republican businessman Kevin Stitt, who has pitched his gubernatorial campaign on his outsider status, has voted in just eight elections since 2000, according to Oklahoma voter history records.

None of those elections included the race for governor.

Stitt, who founded a Tulsa-based mortgage company, is among the frontrunners in the GOP primary, along with Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and Mick Cornett, a former Oklahoma City mayor. The crowded Republican field attracted 10 candidates, including Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson and State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones.

FOI Oklahoma

Freedom Of Information Oklahoma, a non-profit organization formed to promote openness in government, held a 2-hour 2018 gubernatorial candidate debate April 28, 2018. The event took place on the University of Central Oklahoma campus and was presented in partnership with UCentral Media and UCO Mass Communication Department. 

John Minchillo / AP Images

For the first time since they officially declared for the race, six of the 10 candidates vying for the GOP’s gubernatorial nomination came together Monday for a forum hosted by The Oklahoman.

The six tackled issues ranging from abortion rights to wind taxes as they tried to convince prospective voters watching in person at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art or at home watching the live feed why they should receive their support.

Here are some of the takeaways from the debate:

Tax Increases

Mike Boettcher / Unfiltered

Oklahoma Watch reporter Paul Monies reached out to the 11 declared gubernatorial candidates to ask them what they think about striking teachers’ demands and what more can be done to fund education and get teachers back in their classrooms. Responses came from the candidates or their representatives. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb’s campaign pointed to an April 2 Fox News interview in which he addressed the strike. Responses have been condensed.

DEMOCRATS:

Drew Edmondson