Kevin Stitt, a political newcomer and owner of a private mortgage company, won Oklahoma's Republican gubernatorial primary runoff on Tuesday, beating Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. Stitt, 45, will face Democrat Drew Edmondson, a former state attorney general, in November. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) is stepping down due to term limits. Stitt ran on his record building up Gateway Mortgage Group into a large national lender, but he also faced negative ads highlighting the role his company played in the 2008 mortgage crisis. Polls show a competitive race.
In northeast Oklahoma, local McDonald's franchisee Kevin Hern will face Tulsa attorney Tim Gilpin for the U.S. House seat vacated by recently appointed NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. Republicans have held the seat for three decades.
Meanwhile, six incumbent Republican state House members were voted out on Tuesday, and all of them voted against a tax hike on fuel, cigarettes, and energy producers used to finance a pay raise for teachers, The Associated Press reports. Seven Republicans who voted against the tax are not seeking re-election, and two others were defeated in the first-round primary. Peter Weber