Oklahoma elected Republican Kevin Stitt to the state’s top post with 54.34 percent of the vote Tuesday as citizens surprised pundits in several close races.
Oklahoma’s rural vote showed trends towards the Republican Party and urban areas increasingly to the Democrat Party.
Trends, polls and pundits aside; Republican Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell rocked 61.90 percent statewide.
Attorney General Mike Hunter finished with 64.04 percent and State Treasurer Randy McDaniel hit 71.59 percent in the largest turnout Oklahoma has ever seen.
Oklahomans cast 1,184,355 million votes in the gubernatorial election with Stitt receiving 643,563 – the most ever for a gubernatorial candidate.
Vice President Mike Pence’s message urging Oklahomans to vote for Kevin Stitt resonated with many. “You need look no further than what’s going on in Washington, D.C., to see what happens when you put a leader in the chief executive’s office,” Pence said at a Tulsa rally. “Think of the progress we’ve made over the last two years with President Trump in the White House,” Pence said. “I really think it’s a foreshadowing of what you’re going to see here in Oklahoma.”
Stitt campaigned as an independent businessman and champion of change promising a results driven administration in a state historically hobbled by systemic cronyism. Never before elected to any public office, the Governor-elect earned his opportunity to lead Oklahoma’s turn-around starting “right here, right now” as he promised.
Tulsa is now represented in the U.S. Congress by Republican Kevin Hern after he secured 59.31 percent of the vote. Hern replaces Jim Bridenstine who was recently appointed NASA Administrator by President Trump.
Congressional incumbents Markwayne Mullin (R-Dist. 2) earned 65.02 percent, Frank Lucas (R-Dist. 3) gathered 73.87 percent and Tom Cole (R-Dist. 4) 63.07 percent.
Proving again that “all politics are local” incumbent Representative Steve Russell (R-Dist. 5) was defeated by newcomer Democrat Kendra Horn by 3,288 votes – just 50.69 percent of the vote.