John Kevin Stitt (born December 28, 1972)[2][3] is an American businessman and politician who has served as the 28th governor of Oklahoma since January 2019. He founded and is a former chairman and CEO of Gateway Mortgage Group. A Republican, he was elected governor in 2018. A member of the Cherokee Nation, Stitt is the first tribally enrolled Native American to serve as governor of a U.S. state,[4] and Oklahoma’s second governor of Native descent after Johnston Murray. Stitt grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in accounting. He and his wife, Sarah Stitt, have six children.

Early life

Stitt was born in Milton, Florida, and spent his early years in Wayne, Oklahoma. He later moved to Norman, where his father was the pastor of Riverside Church. He graduated from Norman High School[5] and from Oklahoma State University with a degree in accounting. Stitt helped pay his way through college by selling educational products door-to-door with Southwestern Advantage. He was the first person in the company’s 115-year history to achieve the top sales as a first-year salesperson.[5] Stitt is a member of the Gamma Lambda chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Financial services career

Stitt worked in the financial services sector before starting Gateway in 2000.[6] He founded the company and was president and CEO until January 2014, when he became chairman-CEO. Stitt has said he started Gateway in 2000 with “$1,000 and a computer.” His first obstacle was to get approved as a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lender, for which the company needed a net worth of $50,000. To achieve that, Stitt put forward the equity in his home. In 2002, Gateway secured its first warehouse line, began obtaining licensing in states other than Oklahoma, and started recruiting loan officers. By 2006, it had over 400 employees.

In August 2018, Stitt stepped down as CEO and hired outside management. Legal Counsel Scott Gesell became CEO in 2020[7][8] and Stitt remained chairman until shortly before his inauguration as governor.[9] Gateway is a midsize company based in Jenks, Oklahoma. It employs more than 1,500 people and originates mortgages in 42 states.[10]

Gateway Mortgage license

After a decade of rapid growth, a few Gateway employees were fired for making non-compliant loans.[11] In 2009, Gateway was listed in a Business Insider article as one of the 15 shadiest lenders in the government-backed mortgage industry.[12][13] The article said Gateway originated nearly twice as many bad mortgages as its competitors.[13] An August 19, 2018, Oklahoman newspaper article highlighted the Business Insider article’s inaccuracies, reporting that “in the Illinois case, a consent order states that the Illinois banking agency investigated a Gateway loan originator for an ‘alleged real estate, appraisal, and mortgage fraud scheme.’ Gateway fired the employee, asked for a hearing and then agreed to what investigators found. Gateway agreed to a $10,000 fine. The Stitt campaign responded with a press release that said, “the license in Illinois was never revoked. The state agreed after the appeal not to revoke the license.”[11]

NEWS9 also said that according to Georgia’s Department of Banking and Finance, Stitt was banned for five years and the company was banned for life from origination mortgages in Georgia. According to the Oklahoman, a Gateway corporate attorney said there were misrepresentations and insufficient background checks by employees in the Georgia office but Stitt was not involved. The employees were fired and Gateway paid a $2,000 fine. The state overturned the lifetime ban on Gateway, effective November 2017. Gateway is able to do business in all 50 states.[11]

During Stitt’s gubernatorial campaign, Oklahoma Watch reported that Wisconsin regulators fined Gateway for a “clerical error” regarding its history with regulators from other states. Gateway corrected the application and was issued a license in 2009. It remains in good standing in Wisconsin.[14]

2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign

In July 2017, Stitt announced his candidacy[15][16][17] for the Republican nomination[18][19] for governor in 2018.[20][21] Facing nine other candidates in the primary election, he ran a statewide campaign with stops in nearly every city and town in all 77 counties. He finished second, defeating, among others, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb.[22][23] In the August 28 primary runoff, Stitt defeated Mick Cornett, a former mayor of Oklahoma City.[24] In the November general election, Stitt defeated the Democratic nominee, former Attorney General Drew Edmondson, and Libertarian Chris Powell.[25]

In the GOP runoff, political newcomer Stitt received crucial support from a trio of conservative leaders as U.S. Senator Ted Cruz[26] and former U.S. Senators Rick Santorum[27] and Tom Coburn endorsed him.[28] In the general election, Stitt was endorsed by former primary rival Mick Cornett,[29] the incumbent governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin,[30] and President Donald Trump.[31] The Stitt campaign promptly rejected Fallin’s endorsement with a press release: “We did not seek [Fallin’s endorsement], and Kevin Stitt has run on a campaign message that he will do things a lot differently. He is focused on changing the structure of state government and cleaning up the mess we are currently in at the Capitol.”[29]

During his campaign, Stitt called himself “the only job creator with proven business experience” running for governor[32] and emphasized his business background.[33] He called on the state to become “top 10 in job growth, top 10 in education and top 10 in infrastructure.”[34]

During the general election, the close race drew increased attention from national media and political figures.[35] Vice President Mike Pence campaigned for Stitt.[36][37][38]

Governor of Oklahoma

Stitt (left) attending a White House conference in December 2018, seated next to Governor-elect Brad Little of Idaho.


After the election, transition activities began as Stitt prepared to assume office.[39] A spokesperson for the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services announced that Stitt would occupy temporary office space in the Capitol, which was under renovation, and not occupy the Governor’s Office until early 2020 due to the restoration project. Stitt also announced that he would not immediately move his family into the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion in Oklahoma City, instead remaining in Jenks until summer 2019 to allow his daughter to graduate from high school.[39]


Stitt was inaugurated on January 14, 2019, at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Chief Justice of Oklahoma Noma Gurich swore him and Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell into office. Stitt then gave a 15-minute inaugural address.[40]

Administration personnel

Cabinet positions

Before taking office, Stitt nominated former state Representative Michael Rogers as his Secretary of State and Tulsa Deputy Mayor Michael Junk (a former advisor to U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn)[41] as his chief of staff.[42]

On December 23, 2019, citing disagreements with Stitt over his handling of negotiations with the state’s various Indian tribes about gambling compacts, Lisa Johnson Billy became the first member of the Stitt’s cabinet to resign. A member of the Chickasaw Nation and former Republican state representative, Billy viewed Stitt’s negotiation position as one of “unnecessary conflict.”[43] Stitt tapped his Secretary of State Mike Rogers to assume those duties and temporarily combined the two positions.

Cabinet confirmation process

PositionNameAnnouncementSenate CommitteeFull Senate
vote date
Confirmation vote
Secretary of StateMike RogersNovember 27, 2018General GovernmentApril 23, 201944-0-4[2]
Secretary of EducationMike RogersJanuary 24, 2019General GovernmentApril 23, 201944-0-4[3]
Ryan WaltersSeptember 10, 2020Senate confirmation pending
Secretary of Energy and EnvironmentKenneth E. WagnerNovember 28, 2018EnergyMay 1, 201941-0-7[4]
Secretary of AgricultureBlayne ArthurDecember 13, 2018Agriculture and WildlifeFebruary 26, 201943-0-5[5]
Adjutant GeneralMichael C. ThompsonDecember 14, 2018Veterans Affairs and MilitaryMay 13, 201945-1-2[6]
Secretary of the BudgetMike MazzeiDecember 20, 2018AppropriationsMay 15, 201947-1-0[7]
Secretary of Commerce and Workforce DevelopmentSean P. KouplenJanuary 3, 2019Business, Commerce, and TourismApril 16, 201943-0-5[8]
Secretary of Agency AccountabilityJohn BuddJanuary 7, 2019General GovernmentApril 23, 201944-0-4[9]
Secretary of Tourism and BrandingMatt PinnellJanuary 17, 2019Business, Commerce, and TourismApril 23, 201946-0-2[10]
Secretary of Digital Transformation and AdministrationDavid OstroweJanuary 18, 2019General GovernmentApril 23, 201944-0-4[11]
Secretary of TransportationTim GatzJanuary 18, 2019TransportationApril 23, 201945-0-3[12]
Secretary of Native American AffairsLisa Johnson BillyJanuary 30, 2019General GovernmentApril 23, 201944-0-4[13]
Secretary of Human ServicesSteven BuckFebruary 14, 2019Health and Human ServicesMay 8, 201946-0-2[14]
Secretary of Public SafetyChip KeatingFebruary 21, 2019Public SafetyApril 24, 201942-0-6[15]
Secretary of Veterans AffairsBrian BrurudFebruary 21, 2019Nomination withdrawn March 18, 2019[16]
Ben RobinsonApril 15, 2019Veterans Affairs and MilitaryMay 13, 201946-0-2[17]
Secretary of Science and InnovationKayse ShrumMarch 14, 2019EducationMay 2, 201944-0-4[18]
Elizabeth PollardJune 29, 2020Senate confirmation pending
Secretary of HealthJerome LoughridgeMarch 14, 2019Health and Human ServicesMay 8, 201947-0-1[19]
Kevin CorbettJune 29, 2020Senate confirmation pending

Sub-Cabinet officials

OfficeAgencyNameAnnouncementSenate CommitteeFull Senate
vote date
Confirmation vote
CommissionerDepartment of AgricultureBlayne ArthurDecember 13, 2018Agriculture and WildlifeFebruary 26, 201943-0-5[20]
DirectorDepartment of CommerceBrent KislingJanuary 3, 2019Business, Commerce, and TourismApril 16, 201943-0-5[21]
DirectorOffice of Management and Enterprise ServicesJohn BuddJanuary 7, 2019General GovernmentApril 23, 201946-0-2[22]
Steven HarpeJanuary 23, 2020Senate confirmation pending[23]
CommissionerDepartment of HealthTom BatesJanuary 14, 2019Interim basis[24]
Gary CoxSeptember 12, 2019Senate confirmation pending[25]
State Chief Information OfficerOffice of Management and Enterprise ServicesBo ReeseJanuary 14, 2019Senate confirmation not required[26]
Donald MooreFebruary 13, 2020Senate confirmation not required[27]
Executive DirectorDepartment of Veteran AffairsDoug ElliotJanuary 14, 2019Senate confirmation not required
Joel KintselSeptember 6, 2019Senate confirmation not required[28]
Executive DirectorTurnpike AuthorityTim GatzJanuary 14, 2019Senate confirmation not required
CommissionerDepartment of Mental HealthTerri WhiteJanuary 14, 2019Senate confirmation not required
Carrie Slatton-HodgesFebruary 1, 2020Interim basis
Director of Homeland SecurityDepartment of Public SafetyKim E. CarterJanuary 15, 2019Senate confirmation not required[29]
DirectorDepartment of Emergency ManagementMark GowerJanuary 29, 2019Public SafetyApril 24, 201942-0-6[30]
CommissionerDepartment of Public SafetyRusty RhoadesFebruary 22, 2019Public SafetyApril 24, 201942-0-6[31]
John ScullySeptember 2, 2019Senate confirmation pending[32]
DirectorDepartment of Tourism and RecreationJerry WinchesterApril 2, 2019Business, Commerce, and TourismMay 7, 201945-0-3[33]
DirectorDepartment of TransportationTim GatzMay 1, 2019TransportationMay 13, 201948-0-0[34]
DirectorOffice of Juvenile AffairsSteven BuckMay 1, 2019Health and Human ServicesMay 15, 201947-0-1[35]
DirectorDepartment of Human ServicesJustin BrownJune 4, 2019Senate confirmation pending[36]
Deputy Secretary of Public SafetyDepartment of CorrectionsTricia EverestJune 13, 2019Senate confirmation not required[37]
DirectorDepartment of CorrectionsScott CrowJune 14, 2019[44]Senate confirmation pending[38]
Deputy Secretary of HealthHealth Care AuthorityCarter KimbleJune 21, 2019Senate confirmation not required[39]
SecretaryGeneral Land OfficeA. Brandt VawterJuly 8, 2019Interim basis[40]
DirectorHealth Care AuthorityKevin CorbettAugust 5, 2019Senate confirmation pending[41]
Director of Workforce DevelopmentDepartment of CommerceDon MorrisAugust 12, 2019Senate confirmation not required[42]
CommissionerState Banking DepartmentMick ThompsonDecember 10, 2019[45]Senate confirmation pending[43]
Chief of the Highway PatrolDepartment of Public SafetyMichael HarrellJanuary 14, 2019[46]Senate confirmation not required
Brent SuggSeptember 11, 2019Senate confirmation not required[44]
DirectorState Bureau of InvestigastionRicky G. AdamsJanuary 14, 2019[47]Senate confirmation not required


Stitt received a 100% score from the pro-life advocacy group Oklahomans for Life.[48]

Capital punishment

Oklahoma has a long history with capital punishment, having conducted the third-most executions since the death penalty was reinstated in Gregg v. Georgia (1976).[49] But in 2015, a moratorium was placed on all state executions following the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April 2014 and the execution of Charles Warner by unauthorized methods in January 2015.[50] On February 13, 2020, Stitt announced that the moratorium would be lifted.[51]

Criminal justice reform

Beginning with the adoption of State Question 780 by Oklahoma voters in 2016, advocates for criminal justice reform sought additional measures. SQ780, which changed the classification of simple drug possession crimes from felony to misdemeanor and increased the cap for property crimes to be considered felonies, had already reduced the rate of felony prosecution statewide by 26% by 2018.[52] In May 2019, Stitt proposed several ideas, including making SQ780’s sentencing standards retroactive, prohibiting criminal records from being considered for professional licensing, and restructuring the funding scheme for the various district attorney offices.[53] The legislature made SQ780 retroactive by allowing parole for those convicted before SQ780 became effective and reforming professional licensing,[54] but did not approve bills to reform Oklahoma’s cash bail system.[55] In response to legislative defeats, Stitt issued an executive order to form a study group to make recommendations for future criminal justice reform for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, with particular emphasis on reducing Oklahoma’s incarceration rate.[56]

Critical race theory

On May 7, 2021, Stitt signed a bill prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory or its gender equivalent in public schools.[57][58] The Oklahoman wrote that it was unclear whether critical race theory was taught at any Oklahoma public schools.[57] Opponents of the bill said it was intended to discourage nuanced discussions about race and whitewash America’s history on race.[57] Stitt invoked Martin Luther King Jr. when he signed the bill.[57]

Drug policy

In mid-2018, Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788, which legalized the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana for medical purposes. As a candidate, Stitt cited a need to implement the results of the election by enacting a comprehensive regulatory scheme.[59] After months of negotiation with legislative leaders, Stitt signed HB2612, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act. Also known as the “Marijuana Unity Bill”, HB2612 provided an extensive medical marijuana framework, including licensing requirements and rights for patients.[60]

Government reform

In his first state of the state address, Stitt called for increased appointment power over major state agencies. The legislature granted his request by adopting five new laws, giving him direct control over the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.[61] These agencies were previously under the control of multi-member boards or commissions that acted independently of the governor.

In exchange for additional appointment powers and at legislative leaders’ request, Stitt signed into law SB1, which established the Oklahoma Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency in the legislative branch. Under the direction of an oversight committee composed of members of the State Senate and House of Representatives, the office will provide auditing, evaluation, and investigative services for the legislature relating to the governor’s proposed budget and expenditures by the executive branch.[62]


The first law Stitt signed after taking office permitted anyone 21 or older, or 18 if a member or veteran of the United States Armed Forces, to carry a firearm without obtaining a permit or completing training.[63] Stitt also signed HB2010, which expands the places a firearm may be carried to include municipal zoos and parks, regardless of size, as long as it is concealed.[64]


Stitt opposes Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma.[65] His refusal to expand the program resulted in the filing of an citizens’ initiative petition, State Question 802, to enact the expansion into the state constitution notwithstanding Stitt’s opposition.

Judicial reform

Stitt signed legislation reorganizing the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals. Prior to the reforms, Supreme Court justices were appointed from nine separate districts representing various collections of counties. Under the legislation, as of 2020 the Court’s nine judicial districts were redrawn such that five were made coequal with the state’s five congressional districts and the other four are at large with the state as whole.[66] Similarly, the five judicial districts used to appoint judges to the Court of Criminal Appeals were made coequal with the congressional districts. The legislation left the method for appointing appellate judges via the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission unchanged. The reform’s ostensible purpose was to increase the pool of applicants to the appellate courts.

Tribal relations

Under the authority of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, in 2004 Oklahoma voters approved State Question 712, which adopted the Oklahoma State-Tribal Gaming Act. Under the Act, the State of Oklahoma offers each federally recognized Indian tribe the right to conduct commercial gambling within its territory upon accepting the terms of a uniform state-tribal gaming compact. The compact allowed the compacting tribes to conduct gaming in return for “exclusivity fees” to the state treasury averaging 6% of gaming revenues.[67] The compact was scheduled to automatically renew on January 1, 2020.

In a July 2019 op-ed in the Tulsa World followed by a letter to the chiefs of 35 Oklahoma tribes, Stitt called on tribal leaders to renegotiate the terms of the compact before its expiration date.[68] In particular, he called for increasing the exclusivity fees to between 13% and 25%.[69] Stitt’s office maintained the compact is not subject to automatic renewal, a claim the tribes rejected, believing it will continue indefinitely unless changes are mutually agreed upon.[70][71] In either event, the Oklahoma Legislature would presumably have to be involved in any renegotiation, since the state’s compact offer is defined and controlled by state statute, and federal law requires that the United States Department of the Interior approve any new compact terms.[72]

In August 2019, the various tribes refused to meet with Stitt to negotiate the amount of the exclusivity fees unless he conceded that the compact would otherwise automatically renew.[73] Stitt had proposed a September 3 date to begin discussions but the tribes rejected it.

At the end of December 2019, the Choctaw, Cherokee, and Chickasaw tribes filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma to end the dispute over the compact.[74] On December 31, Stitt signed an extension to the hunting and fishing license compact with the Choctaw Nation, a previous point of contention.[75]

On July 28, 2020, U.S. District Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti ruled in the tribes’ favor, holding that their compacts with the state automatically renewed for an additional 15-year term on January 1, 2020. A week earlier, on July 21, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the new gaming compacts signed by the state and the Comanche Nation and the Otoe-Missouria Tribe are invalid under state law. The Court ruled that Stitt “exceeded his authorities” in entering into the compacts because they would have allowed gaming that is illegal in Oklahoma, like sports betting.[76]

Response to coronavirus outbreak

In March 2020, Stitt went out to restaurants amid the coronavirus pandemic and posted a photo on Twitter of him doing so with two of his children.[77][78] He later deleted the tweet, and his spokesperson said, “the governor will continue to take his family out to dinner and to the grocery store without living in fear and encourages Oklahomans to do the same.”[79] President Trump said he did not advocate going out to eat but did not criticize Stitt.[80] In the tweet, Stitt wrote, “Eating with my kids and all my fellow Oklahomans … It’s packed tonight!” The photograph he posted with his kids showed them smiling while surrounded by restaurant patrons.[81] On June 20, Stitt attended the Trump rally in Tulsa, and was seen without wearing a mask.[82] On July 15, Stitt announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19.[83] He was the first United States governor diagnosed with COVID-19.[84]

In April 2020, Stitt ordered a massive purchase of hydroxychloroquine, a drug of unproven efficacy as a treatment against the coronavirus but which had been heavily promoted by Donald Trump and his allies.[85] By January 2021, Oklahoma had a $2 million stockpile of hydroxychloroquine which it sought to offload.[85]

On July 30, 2021, Oklahoma Watch released a review of Stitt’s Twitter since he received the COVID-19 vaccine and found he posted the least on social media to encourage vaccination of all the governors of states surrounding Oklahoma, including Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, and New Mexico. Only 1.53%, or 3 out of 193, of Stitt’s tweets encouraged COVID-19 vaccination. It also found that Stitt had not used his Facebook account to encourage vaccination in months and that none of his last 45 press releases were about vaccination, at a time when Oklahoma had one of the highest COVID-19 test positivity rates in the country.[86]

Judicial appointments

The governor of Oklahoma is responsible for making appointments to Oklahoma state courts upon a vacancy. Candidates for appointment are reviewed by the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission, which forwards three names to the governor. The governor appoints one of the three without further confirmation. As of 2020, there are 29 appellate court judges (9 Supreme Court justices, 5 Court of Criminal Appeals judge, 12 Court of Civil Appeals judges, and 3 Court of Military Appeals judges) and 156 trial judges (75 district judges, 77 associate district judges, 4 Workers Compensation Court judges) subject to the gubernatorial appointment process.

Appellate courts

#JudgePositionCourtDistrictFormer JudgeAppointment dateEnd of serviceSuccessor JudgeRef.
1M. John Kane IVJusticeSupreme Court2ndJohn F. ReifSeptember 17, 2019IncumbentIncumbent[45]
2Dustin RoweJusticeSupreme CourtAt-LargePatrick WyrickNovember 18, 2019IncumbentIncumbent[46]
3JudgeMilitary Court of AppealsN/ANew PositionJune 3, 2020IncumbentIncumbent[47]
4JudgeMilitary Court of AppealsN/ANew PositionJune 3, 2020IncumbentIncumbent[48]
5JudgeCivil Appeals4stLarry JoplinAugust 24, 2020October 18, 2021Incumbent[49]
6JudgeCivil Appeals5thKenneth L. BuettnerJanuary 1, 2021IncumbentIncumbent[50]
7JudgeCivil Appeals3rdP. Thomas ThornbrughJune 21, 2021IncumbentIncumbent[51]
8Dana KuehnJusticeSupreme Court1stTom ColbertJuly 26, 2021IncumbentIncumbent[52]
9TBDJudgeCivil Appeals1stJerry L. GoodmanTBD
10TBDJudgeCriminal Appeals1stDana L. KuehnTBD
11TBDJudgeCivil Appeals4thTBD

Trial courts

#JudgePositionCountyDistrictFormer JudgeAppointment dateEnd of serviceSuccessor JudgeRef.
1Christine LarsonAssociate District JudgeCimarron1stRonald L. KincannonMarch 8, 2019IncumbentIncumbent[53]
2Timothy KingDistrict JudgeMuskogee15thMike NormanNovember 4, 2019IncumbentIncumbent[54]
3Laura FarrisAssociate District JudgeCreek24thMark IhrigJanuary 17, 2020IncumbentIncumbent[55]
4Erin KirkseyAssociate District JudgeWoodward4thDon WorkMarch 10, 2020IncumbentIncumbent[56]
5Shelia StinsonDistrict JudgeOklahoma7thLisa DavisJuly 17, 2020IncumbentIncumbent[57]
5Stuart TateDistrict JudgeOsage10thM. John Kane IVSeptember 16, 2020IncumbentIncumbent[58]
6Pandee RamirezDistrict JudgeOkmulgee24thKen AdairSeptember 17, 2020IncumbentIncumbent[59]
7James HuberDistrict JudgeTulsa14thLinda MorrisseyOctober 16, 2020IncumbentIncumbent[60]
8Michelle Lee Bondine KeelyDistrict JudgeTulsa14thJefferson SellersNovember 11, 2020IncumbentIncumbent[61]
9Bethany Eve StanleyAssociate District JudgeCleveland21stStephen W. BonnerNovember 23, 2020IncumbentIncumbent[62]
10Anthony BonnerDistrict JudgeOklahoma7thKendra ColemanApril 5, 2021IncumbentIncumbent[63]
11Kristina KirkpatraickDistrict JudgeOklahoma7thApril 5, 2021IncumbentIncumbent[64]
12Burl EstesAssociate District JudgeOsage10thStuart TateApril 7, 2021IncumbentIncumbent[65]
13Kaitlyn AllenDistrict JudgeOklahoma7thAugust 9, 2021IncumbentIncumbent[66]
14Brent DishmanDistrict JudgeOklahoma7thTimothy HendersonOctober 11, 2021IncumbentIncumbent[67]
15TBDAssociate District JudgeRogers12thKassie McCoy

Personal life

Stitt is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation through his great-grandfather, Robert Benton Dawson. Dawson was given land in the Skiatook area because of his tribal citizenship, and the land is still in the family, now owned by an uncle of Stitt’s.[5] Stitt’s maternal grandparents were dairy farmers in Skiatook. His paternal grandfather was the head veterinarian at the Oklahoma City Stockyards.[87]

Stitt married Sarah Hazen in 1998 and they have six children. The Stitts are active with the Woodlake Church in Tulsa.[88]

Electoral history

June 26, 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary[89]
Republican Mick Cornett 132,806 29.3
Republican Kevin Stitt 110,479 24.4
RepublicanTodd Lamb107,98523.9
RepublicanDan Fisher35,8187.9
RepublicanGary Jones25,2435.6
RepublicanGary Richardson18,1854.0
RepublicanBlake Stephens12,2112.7
RepublicanChristopher Barnett5,2401.2
RepublicanBarry Gowdy2,3470.5
RepublicanEric Foutch2,2920.5
Total votes452,606 100.0
August 28, 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary runoff[90]
Republican Kevin Stitt 164,892 54.56
RepublicanMick Cornett137,31645.44
Total votes302,208 100.0
2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial election
Republican Kevin Stitt 644,579 54.33%
DemocraticDrew Edmondson500,97342.23%
LibertarianChris Powell40,8333.44%
Total votes1,186,385 100.0%
Republican hold

See also


  1. ^ “Twitter status”. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  2. ^ Krehbiel, Randy. “Businessman Kevin Stitt trying to close the deal on Republican gubernatorial nomination”. Tulsa World. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  3. ^ “Candidate Profile: Kevin Stitt (R-OK)”. United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  4. ^ “Only one state makes history with election of first Native governor”. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Serious kid” sets sights on serving as chief executive of Oklahoma”. September 30, 2018. Archived from the original on November 26, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  6. ^ MortgageOrb, Zackin Publications Inc., July 25, 2018, Patrick Barnard, Kevin Stitt: The Proactive Approach to Compliance Always WinsArchived October 24, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ “Scott Gesell Named Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel of Gateway First Bank”. August 25, 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  8. ^ Brewer, Kristina (August 3, 2018). “Gateway Mortgage Group Announces New CEO”. DSNews. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  9. ^ “Kevin Stitt Profile”. Archived from the original on October 18, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  10. ^ “Company Overview of Gateway Mortgage Group, LLC”. Bloomberg. Archived from the original on October 16, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c A Look At Cornett’s Past Comments” Oklahoman, August 19, 2018″. Archived from the original on September 28, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  12. ^ The 15 Shadiest Mortgage Lenders Being Backed By The Government, Vincent Fernando, December 11, 2009Archived October 24, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b KWTV/News 9, Oklahoma, June 19, 2018Archived October 18, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ “Stitt’s Mortgage Firm Failed to Tell Regulators of Past Problems”. Archived from the original on October 16, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  15. ^ Kevin Stitt to run for governor, Tulsa Beacon, “Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt announced his candidacy for governor in 2018. The first-time candidate
  16. ^ Real Clear Politics, By Erick Erickson, August 24, 2018, Collapse of the Career Politicians, “The prevailing consensus among political analysts in the United States about…” Archived 2018-08-25 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ U.S. News & World Report, Mortgage Company Head Wins GOP Primary for Oklahoma Governor, “Tulsa mortgage company owner and political newcomer Kevin Stitt won the Republican nomination in the race to become Oklahoma’s next governor.”, August 28, 2018,
  18. ^ Washington Post, June 27, 2018, by Terri Rupar, “Lieutenant governor concedes in GOP gubernatorial race in Oklahoma; runoff set” Archived January 7, 2019, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ EndPlay (August 29, 2018). “You Decide 2018: Kevin Stitt wins Oklahoma gubernatorial GOP runoff race”. KOKI. Archived from the original on October 16, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
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  21. ^ Miles, Frank (August 28, 2018). “Tulsa businessman, political novice Kevin Stitt wins GOP primary for Oklahoma governor”. Fox News. Archived from the original on November 28, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  22. ^ KFOR, August 29, 2018, Kevin Stitt, Drew Edmondson, Chris Powell to face off in November as gubernatorial candidates
  23. ^ KXII. “Kevin Stitt wins GOP nod for Oklahoma governor”. Archived from the original on October 24, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  24. ^ “You Decide 2018: Kevin Stitt wins Oklahoma gubernatorial GOP runoff race”. August 29, 2018. Archived from the original on October 16, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  25. ^ “Kevin Stitt”. Archived from the original on October 16, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  26. ^ “Senator Ted Cruz endorses Kevin Stitt for governor”. August 22, 2018. Archived from the original on August 23, 2018. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  27. ^ “Rick Santorum Endorsement”. August 6, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  28. ^ “Tom Coburn endorses Stitt for governor”. August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  29. ^ a b “Stitt welcomes Cornett’s endorsement but not Fallin’s”. October 11, 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  30. ^ “Gov. Mary Fallin Endorses Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Kevin Stitt”. Archived from the original on January 15, 2019. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  31. ^ “Trump endorses Kevin Stitt in Oklahoma governor’s race”. August 30, 2018. Archived from the original on October 16, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  32. ^ “Quick 5: GOP gubernatorial candidate stakes out positions”. Muskogee Phoenix. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  33. ^ World, Randy Krehbiel Tulsa. “Republican candidate for governor Kevin Stitt says Oklahoma could be a ‘top 10 state. Tulsa World. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  34. ^ KAYLEIGH THESENVITZ. “STITT: Oklahoma could be a top 10 state”. Claremore Daily Progress. Archived from the original on October 28, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  35. ^ The Journal Record, (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP), Pence campaigns for Stitt in Tulsa, Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a rally for gubernatorial candidate Kevin Stitt at the Mabee Center in Tulsa on Thursday. With the general election less than three weeks away, Kevin Stitt is trying to get by with a little help from his friends.
  36. ^ U.S. News & World Report, October 18, 2018, VP Mike Pence Campaigns for GOP’s Kevin Stitt for Governor
    “Vice President Mike Pence headlined a campaign rally for Republican Kevin Stitt as they worked to keep the Oklahoma governor’s office in GOP hands.”
  37. ^ Tulsa World: Kevin Stitt, A Better Agent of Change, The Okie on October 22, 2018 Archived October 24, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ AP News, August 28, 2018, The Latest: Oklahoma attorney general race too close to call Archived October 24, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ a b Hoberock, Barbara (November 12, 2018). “Transition to governor for Kevin Stitt began immediately after election ended”. Tulsa World.
  40. ^ Felder, Ben (January 14, 2019). “Stitt takes office, promises new state pride”. The Daily Oklahoman. Archived from the original on January 14, 2019. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  41. ^ World, Randy Krehbiel Tulsa. “People to Watch: As chief of staff, Michael Junk’s political career is on the rise”. Tulsa World. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
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  43. ^ Tres Savage (December 23, 2019). “Lisa Billy resigns as Gov. Stitt’s secretary of Native American affairs”. NonDoc Media.
  44. ^ Corrections Director Scott Crow was named interim director on June 14, 2019 and nominated to the permanent post on December 6, 2019. [1]
  45. ^ State Banking Commissioner Mick Thompson was initially appointed in 1992 by Governor David Walters. He was subsequently reappointed in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020.
  46. ^ OHP Chief Michael Harrell was initially appointed in 2017 under Governor Mary Fallin. He was subsequently retained by Stitt.
  47. ^ OSBI Ricky Adams was initially appointed in 2018 under Governor Mary Fallin. He was subsequently retained by Stitt.
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  49. ^ Executions in the United States, by state
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  51. ^ Matt Patterson (February 13, 2020). “Lethal announcement: Oklahoma to resume executions this year”. NonDoc Media.
  52. ^ Gentzler, Ryan (February 19, 2018). “SQ 780 is already reshaping Oklahoma’s justice system”.
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  54. ^ Monies, Paul (April 29, 2019). “Oklahoma Watch: 5 questions answered on this year’s criminal justice reform bills”.
  55. ^ Chandler, Quinton (May 30, 2019). “Legislators leave criminal justice reform bills on the table as prison population grows”.
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  58. ^ Polus, Sarah (May 7, 2021). “Oklahoma governor signs bill that prevents schools from teaching critical race theory”. The Hill. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  59. ^ Skarky, Brent (July 26, 2018). “Gubernatorial candidates weigh in on medical marijuana debate”.
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  61. ^ Zheng, Lili (March 13, 2019). “Stitt signs 5 government accountability bills”.
  62. ^ Boles, Brad (May 26, 2019). “Legislature adjourns, Gov. Stitt signs budget”.
  63. ^ Hoberock, Barbara (February 27, 2019). Constitutional carry’ becomes first legislation signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt”.
  64. ^ Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971 Amendments Act
  65. ^ Rowley, D. Sean (May 17, 2019). “Stitt not supportive of Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma”. Cherokee Phoenix.
  66. ^ Hoberock, Barbara (April 26, 2019). “Stitt signs bill to reorganize Oklahoma Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals”.
  67. ^ National Public Radio. “Tribal Gaming”.
  68. ^ Forman, Carmen (July 10, 2019). “Stitt calls for renegotiating Oklahoma tribal gaming compacts”.
  69. ^ Stitt, Kevin (July 8, 2019). “Gov. Kevin Stitt: New gaming compacts must protect the interests of the tribes and the state”.
  70. ^ Forman, Carmen (July 13, 2019). “Oklahoma’s Five Tribes reject Stitt’s call to renegotiate gaming compacts”.
  71. ^ Hoberock, Barbara (July 28, 2019). “Legal expert says Stitt mistaken on tribal gaming fees assessment”.
  72. ^ Forman, Carmen (August 12, 2019). “Lawmakers urge collaboration in gaming compact negotiations”.
  73. ^ Forman, Carmen (August 30, 2019). “Tribes to Stitt: ‘We still have some fundamental differences in our positions.
  74. ^ Staff reports. “Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations file federal lawsuit to end compact renewal dispute”. Tulsa World. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  75. ^ “Update: Gov. Stitt signs 1-year extension for Choctaw Nation’s hunting, fishing compact”. December 31, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  76. ^ Richards, Dillon (July 28, 2020). “Federal judge rules tribal gaming compacts automatically renewed at start of 2020”. KOCO. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
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  78. ^ Rosenberg, Jacob. “Devin Nunes just went on Fox News and told viewers, “It’s a great time to go out. Mother Jones. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  79. ^ Budryk, Zack (March 16, 2020). “Oklahoma governor will continue to ‘take his family out to dinner’ amid pandemic”. TheHill. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  80. ^ Casteel, Chris (March 16, 2020). “President Trump on Gov. Stitt’s deleted tweet: Probably better not to go to restaurants”. The Oklahoman. Tulsa World. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  81. ^ Douglas, Kaylee (March 15, 2020). “Oklahoma governor, mayor face backlash after posting photos in crowded restaurants”. Oklahoma News 4. Archived from the original on June 5, 2020. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  82. ^ Wu, Nicholas; Subramanian, Courtney (July 15, 2020). “Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt tests positive for coronavirus”. USA Today. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  83. ^ Murphy, Sean (July 15, 2020). “Oklahoma’s governor says he has tested positive for COVID-19”. The Moulton Advertiser. Associated Press.
  84. ^ “Oklahoma’s Kevin Stitt is the first governor to test positive for the coronavirus”. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  85. ^ a b “Oklahoma trying to return its $2m stockpile of hydroxychloroquine”. The Frontier. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  86. ^ Brown, Trevor (July 30, 2021). “As Other Governors Pull Out Vaccine Media Blitz, Oklahoma’s Stitt Largely Silent”. Oklahoma Watch. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  87. ^ “Oklahoma Farm Report – Gubernatorial Candidate Kevin Stitt Says Ag will Always have a Seat at the Table in His Administration”. Archived from the original on October 27, 2018. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  88. ^ “Kevin Stitt: Republican”. May 31, 2018. Archived from the original on October 16, 2018. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
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  90. ^ “UNOFFICIAL RESULTS”. Oklahoma State Election Board. Archived from the original on August 30, 2018. Retrieved August 28, 2018.

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Republican nominee for Governor of Oklahoma
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Governor of Oklahoma
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as Vice President

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Mayor of city
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as Governor of Utah

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as Governor of New Mexico