KGOU

2018 gubernatorial race

Cyndi Ralston, a second grade teacher running as a Democrat for House District 12, concedes to her opponent.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

It’s about 9 p.m. in Coweta, a rural town south east of Tulsa.

The election results are still trickling in as Cyndi Ralston, a second-grade teacher -turned Democratic political candidate, steps on to the stage in the small event space where she’s having her watch party.

Wikimedia Commons

KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley spoke with all three Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates on Capitol Insider about where each stands on our state’s biggest issues like worsening teacher shortages, tax policy, government transparency, exemptions for childhood vaccinations, carrying out the death penalty and more.

Listen to our in-depth conversations with Libertarian Chris Powell, Democrat Drew Edmondson and Republican Kevin Stitt below.

Oklahoma Republican candidate for Governor, Kevin Stitt, answers a question during a debate with Democratic candidate Drew Edmondson in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018.
Sue Ogracki / AP Photo

In the last of three interviews with each of Oklahoma's gubernatorial candidates, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley speak with Republican Kevin Stitt. Stitt discusses why he believes his business experience will help Oklahoma improve in areas like education, criminal justice and healthcare.

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Education is a top focus for many voters. Others, like Jason Retherford, a youth and family minister from Duncan, worry about the lack of economic opportunity. A poll found 57 percent of Oklahomans say jobs and economy are the main problems for families.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

If Daryl Fisher, a supervisor at a group home for young men, could fix one thing in Oklahoma, it would be education.

“Everybody always focuses on kids,” he said in an interview at a gas station in downtown Oklahoma City. “But are we really focusing on kids when we’re opening up more jails, trying to make more room, and not educating them? Are we really focusing on them?”

A billboard advertises the services of Cordell Memorial Hospital’s only doctor and two nurse practitioners.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

As the 2018 election season hits a fever pitch in Oklahoma, residents across the state are scrutinizing the credentials of the candidates. And with November 6 just three weeks away, some new political concerns are coming to light.

Caroline Halter/KGOU

In the first of three interviews with each of Oklahoma's gubernatorial candidates, KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley speak with Libertarian Chris Powell. Powell explains his party's philosophy and lays out his positions on key issues like taxes, recreational marijuana, healthcare, abortion and education policy. 

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt promotes his plan for education at the Oklahoma State School Boards Conference in Oklahoma City.
Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Public school teachers are watching closely as Oklahoma gubernatorial candidates promote and debate their plans for improving health care, tax policy and education.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Drew Edmondson says if elected, he will make expanding Medicaid in the Sooner state a top priority.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

On a hot Monday afternoon, Zora Sampson stands behind rows of chairs set up in the lobby of the hospital in Pauls Valley. Sampson supports the Democratic candidate for Governor Drew Edmondson — and turned up to hear his plan to help rural hospitals. 

Christine Pappas is a professor and department chair of the Department of Political Science at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.
Caroline Halter / KGOU

The chair of the political science department at East Central University in Ada challenges her students to enroll their peer to vote.

“Instead of me an old person or some other professor asking a student to register if they're asked by a friend or a classmate they're much more likely to register,” Christine Pappas told KGOU’s Capitol Insider.

American currency
thinkpanama / Flickr Creative Commons

Political spending by secretive groups that are allowed to hide their donors have already spent what is likely a record amount this year to influence Oklahoma political races.

An Oklahoma Watch review of campaign finance records found so-called “dark money” groups had spent nearly $2.7 million on Oklahoma’s legislative, statewide and congressional races by the end of August.

A deep-pocketed political newcomer and Republican businessman from Tulsa will face a longtime Democratic Party stalwart and former attorney general in November’s gubernatorial election.

Matt Pinnell, left, and Kevin Stitt talk to reporters at a watch party in Tulsa on Aug. 28, 2018.
Matt Trotter / Oklahoma Engaged

A political outsider will be the Republican party's nominee for governor.

Kevin Stitt, a Tulsa businessman, defeated former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett in Tuesday's Republican primary runoff. Stitt defeated Cornett 55 to 45 percent. 

Edmond resident Jay Mandraccia casts her primary ballot during early voting Thursday at the Oklahoma County Board of Elections. Regular voting will be held Tuesday.
Trevor Brown / Oklahoma Watch

In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley discuss the high number of runoff races on Tuesday’s ballot, including the race between Republican gubernatorial candidates Kevin Stitt and Mick Cornett. 

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

Newly obtained documents from Wisconsin regulators show gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt personally signed background-check documents for Gateway Mortgage Group in 2008 that did not disclose previous regulatory actions against his company in three other states.

Kevin Stitt is shown speaking at a forum hosted by Edmond Republican Women on May 21.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt’s mortgage company did not tell Wisconsin officials about its run-ins with other states’ regulators when it applied for a mortgage banking license a decade ago, according to documents obtained by Oklahoma Watch.

Only four of 28 candidates for statewide elected office in Oklahoma have voluntarily released specific details about their personal finances similar to what is typically disclosed by federal candidates and state-level candidates in other states.

Owner Sylvia Wilson, center, sits with a customer and an employee at Boots Cafe in Taft, Oklahoma.
Quinton Chandler / Oklahoma Engaged

If you follow your nose to the back of Boots Cafe, you’ll run into swinging wood doors hanging underneath a metal script sign of the word ‘Blessed.’

Democratic candidates and supporters gather for a Democratic Unity picnic at the Wheeler Ferris Wheel grounds in Oklahoma City.
Kateleigh Mills / Oklahoma Engaged

Women are a key constituency for both of Oklahoma’s major political parties, and an increasing number of women are running for office. But data suggest a majority of Oklahoma women are disappointed with both major political parties.

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.

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