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Gubernatorial Candidate Q&A: Kevin Stitt

Earlier this month, we sent a list of 15 identical questions to the five major Republican candidates for governor – Mick Cornett, Gary Jones, Todd Lamb, Gary Richardson and Kevin Stitt. The questions were direct and hard hitting, and covered a wide-variety of important issues facing Oklahomans, like whether or not the candidates own a tiger, or if they'd let their kids park double-wides at the Governor's Mansion.

Out of the five candidates we contacted, only two showed the nerve, audacity and lack of judgement to actually respond – Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt. The other three swiped left, and for good reason. Todd Lamb was too busy running away from Mary Fallin, Gary Jones had to tend to horny cattle, and based on recent polling, Gary Richardson is no longer considered a major candidate for governor.

Kevin Stitt, as you know, is a successful businessman from Tulsa who is new to politics. In fact, he's so new that he hasn't even voted! He's running on a campaign platform of "Things are so screwed up in this state that we need someone with no political experience to fix it." You can find Kevin's answers to our questions after the jump. When you're finished, you can view Mick's responses here.

Thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A. I think we should start with an easy, softball question. Everything goes down hill from there...

1. Tell me why you want to be Governor of Oklahoma? The job looks about as fun as managing a Braum's.

Over the last few years, I’ve watched our state struggle with a billion-dollar budget deficit, schools moving to four-day weeks, and a state government that just doesn’t seem to work as well as it should. As I travel the country visiting my Gateway offices across 41 states, I see firsthand the momentum in these other states. They are attracting and retaining good-paying jobs; they have a great infrastructure and a modernizing state government. I believe Oklahoma is a Top Ten state, but it needs leadership and vision to deliver Top Ten outcomes for Oklahoma’s hard-working, God-fearing people. I am ready to use my 20 years-experience in the private sector creating and maintaining sustainable budgets and making hard decisions to help move our state forward.

2. Speaking of Braum's, what are your thoughts on them shrinking their burgers from 1/3-lb to 1/4-lb patties but keeping prices the same?

It’s an outrage. Same thing has been happening in state government. The career politicians keep increasing taxes while providing for fewer and less competent services.

3. Congratulations! I've heard through the Ogle Mole Network that Mary Fallin is considering endorsing you for governor! Okay… okay. I'm just kidding. I didn't mean to scare you. What are your thoughts on the job Mrs. Fallin has done as governor?

I don’t think we’ve been governed by bad people, but I do think we’ve been governed badly. I’m running because I don’t believe the career politicians who got us into this mess can get us out. We need a new direction, new leadership, and new perspective. It’s time to try something different.

4. How far to the right are you willing to go to secure this nomination?

I’ll admit, I’m new to politics. I’ve never run for office before and I’m only running now because I’m frustrated our state is in such terrible shape. The other candidates just seemed like they would say whatever they need to get elected and then not be able to deliver. I want to temporarily leave my company to go and serve my state, which is pretty much what the founders intended. If I am entrusted with the honor of being governor, I pledge that I will focus my energy on the next generation, not the next election.

5. Have you ever owned, or plan to own, a tiger?

Bees. The Stitt family is starting with bees. Feel like we have to work up to a tiger.

6. I have a six-week old daughter. I've lived in Oklahoma my whole life. How terrified should I be to send her to Oklahoma schools? Also, do you secretly wish there were four-day school weeks when you were a kid?

You seem clever and industrious, so you probably don’t have much to worry about. Your daughter is six weeks old and you are already worried about her education, which tells me you’ll be a good parent and she’ll turn out great. But there is no question our schools are struggling. Our education system as a whole is struggling because, for more than a decade, career politicians have mismanaged the budget and made decisions that focused on their re-election instead of the next generation. In a Stitt administration, we are going to deliver transparency and accountability to our $22 billion budget. We are going to bring all stakeholders to the table to innovate and modernize our education system and address the funding formula it in order to deliver Top Ten outcomes. I am committed to a vision of making Oklahoma a Top Ten state in growth, education, and government efficiency, and it is going to take all of us working together to bring the change Oklahoma deserves.

7. Have you ever used marijuana for medicinal reasons, like to help with a headache, anxiety or to make late night TV funny?

Kimmel, Fallon, Colbert…is there anything that can make those guys funny?

8. What do you have to say to the fact-obsessed weirdos out there who believe the moon landing, holocaust and other hoaxes like global warming are real and not #FAKENEWS?

The only #FakeNews I’m worried about right now is the left claiming I’m not for Oklahoma’s teachers when I’ve been the only candidate since day one calling for the state to fund competitive salaries for our teachers.

9. Which Pioneer Woman recipe do you most often meal prep and why?

Our family enjoys the Pioneer Woman’s meatloaf and also her cheesy potatoes.

10. Tell me about your guns?! What's your favorite? How often do you get to the range?

My brothers and I are gun collectors, and we also enjoy hunting with bows. My favorite bow is a Diamond. I’ve been a little busy the past 20 years growing my company and.. well, growing my family. All that to say, I don’t get out to the woods as often as I would like.

11. Will you ever let your kids (or even grandkids) hitch their double-wide trailers at the Governor's Mansion?

We have six children between the ages of 17 to 4. Not quite trailer age, but maybe some pup tents.

12. How do we get more middle-aged Christian evangelical white men involved in Oklahoma politics?

Great question…just keep doing what we’re doing…electing the same career politicians we’ve been electing.

13. Who's your favorite Oil Overlord?

I am not one to pick winners and losers. I love all those in the oil and natural gas industry, whether it’s a couple of friends drilling a well in their back yard or those that hang out in tall towers.

14. Which meteorologist do you watch whenever severe weather strikes?

I’m still missing Gary England…

15. Thanks for taking an hour out of your Communication Coordinator's day to answer these questions. Good luck in the upcoming primary! My final question is… Do you think Scott Pruitt regrets his decision to not run for Governor?

What, and miss all the fun in Washington?


We'd like to thank Kevin for answering our questions. You can view Mick Cornett's responses here. And don't forget to vote on next Tuesday.

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