Via The Frontier
Tulsa mortgage broker Kevin Stitt has continued to outraise his gubernatorial competitors as the candidates seek to distance themselves from each other ahead of the summer primary election.
Stitt, who runs Gateway Mortgage Group and entered the race a relative unknown, raised $627,825.94 in the final quarter of 2017, more than $200,000 more than fellow Republican Todd Lamb, his closest competitor.
“I am excited that our movement has attracted a large number of Oklahomans who are making a strong donation for their first time in a primary race for our state’s next governor,” Stitt said in a media release. “The chaos at the State Capitol and failure to enact forward-thinking policy has been a wake-up call for many. More Republicans are engaging in the primary process, and I am honored they are getting behind our pro-growth vision to make Oklahoma a Top Ten state.”
Lamb, who has a large warchest stored away due to leftover money from his previous Lt. Governor campaign, reported raising $403,809.95.
Fourth quarter campaign finance forms were due at midnight Wednesday.
In total the governor candidates reporting raising more than $1,700,000 in the fourth quarter, substantially less than their combined third-quarter efforts which saw several personal loans that totaled more than $1 million.
Mick Cornett, the Republican mayor of Oklahoma City, finished third in fourth quarter fundraising, reporting $332,905.21 in donations.
Democrat Drew Edmondson, a former Oklahoma Attorney General, continued to financially distance himself from his top competitor, former state Sen. Connie Johnson. Edmondson reporting raising $295,447.60 compared to Johnson’s $12,826.01.
Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson finished the fourth quarter fifth in fundraising, bringing in $46,550.
Perhaps just as important as the money the candidates brought in is the money spent, and five candidates — Stitt, Cornett, Edmondson, Richardson and Lamb — each spent more than $100,000 during the fourth quarter.
A mid-January poll done by Soonerpoll showed that Cornett and Edmondson had jumped out to early leads in their respective parties, though large percentages of Republicans (39 percent) and Democrats (35 percent) remained undecided on who to hand their vote.
Stitt reported spending $356,893.94, about $70,000 more than Cornett ($283,060.94,) and $80,000 more than Edmondson ($276,634.42.)
Gary Richardson reported spending $217,065.42 and Lamb spent $165,942.43.
In the January Soonerpoll, Lamb was the second most popular republican candidate, garnering 18 percent of the response from voters contacted for the survey. Richardson, who received nine percent of the responses, was third.
Stitt, who has widely out-raised all candidates in the last six months of fundraising, has yet to turn his financial prowess into name recognition. Stitt received just 3 percent of the “vote” in the poll, less than Dan Fisher and equal to Gary Jones, two candidates who he has vastly outraised.
|Kevin Stitt, R-Tulsa||$627,852.94|
|Todd Lamb, R-OKC||$403,809.95|
|Mick Cornett, R-OKC||$332,905.21|
|Drew Edmondson, D-OKC||$295,447.60|
|Gary Richardson, R-Tulsa||$46,550.00|
|Dan Fisher, R-El Reno||$39,853.26|
|Connie Johnson, D-OKC||$12,826.01|
|Gary Jones, R-Cache||$10,998.20|
|Scott Inman, D-OKC||$10,865.00|
|Joseph Maldonado, R-Wynnewood||$2,420.24|
|Chris Powell, L-Bethany||$646|
|Rex Lawhorn, L-Broken Arrow||Unreported|