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Candidate Profiles: The Race For Oklahoma Governor, 2018

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.

The next winnowing will be on Aug. 28, when runoffs will lock in each party’s torchbearer. Then it’s a 10-week sprint to the election of Oklahoma’s 28th governor.

If you’re still wavering on a choice, or haven’t considered what’s at stake, it’s time to get serious. Oklahoma Watch is offering these candidate profiles, with facts, analysis and context, to  help readers decide how to vote and understand the implications of electing one man vs. another. (Yes, the only woman in the race, Democrat Connie Johnson, is out.) We’ll update or eliminate profiles as the campaign continues.

Here are links to profiles of the current contenders:


Drew Edmondson

In a state that gave Donald Trump a landslide in 2016, can the experienced, articulate Democrat attract enough moderate and independent voters unhappy with GOP leadership, and get enough Democratic turnout, to pull off a victory?

Read the profile.


Rex Lawhorn

Can a Libertarian candidate who doesn’t mince words about his convictions on individual liberty and efficient government win a primary upset and then connect with the “inner Libertarian” of major-party voters?

Read the profile.

Chris Powell

Can a long-time, genial member of the Libertarian Party, which has struggled for decades to be taken seriously by voters, achieve a breakthrough by tapping into the simmering frustration with major established parties?

Read the profile.


Mick Cornett

Can a likable, relatively moderate Republican, whose name is tied to the renaissance of Oklahoma City, convince enough voters elsewhere that he will chart a course for their cities’, and the state’s, economic revitalization?

Read the profile.

Kevin Stitt

Can a wealthy, engaging businessman who’s never run for public office parlay his outsider status, money and focus on business values and social conservatism into the chief executive job?

Read the profile.

Oklahoma Watch is a non-profit organization that produces in-depth and investigative journalism on important public-policy issues facing the state. Oklahoma Watch is non-partisan and strives to be balanced, fair, accurate and comprehensive. The reporting project collaborates on occasion with other news outlets. Topics of particular interest include poverty, education, health care, the young and the old, and the disadvantaged.
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