Gateway Mortgage Founder Kevin Stitt wins Republican nomination for Oklahoma governor

Political novice defeats former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in primary

Gateway Mortgage Founder and former CEO Kevin Stitt could soon be the governor of Oklahoma.

On Tuesday, Stitt secured the Republican nomination for governor of Oklahoma, defeating former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in a primary runoff.

Stitt began his campaign just over a year ago, eventually defeating a handful of Republican contenders to grab the Republican nomination.

Stitt will now face off against Democrat Drew Edmondson in the general election in November.

Stitt founded Gateway Mortgage in 2000, and the company has grown significantly since then.

According to the company’s website, Gateway Mortgage is currently licensed to lend in 40 states and has more than 1,200 employees in 160+ offices across the nation. The company said that expects to originate more than $6 billion in mortgages and its servicing portfolio to surpass $20 billion this year.

Earlier this month, Stitt stepped away from the day-to-day running of Gateway, presumably to focus on the gubernatorial race.

Gateway announced in early August that Stitt would be stepping down as CEO, but would remain as the company’s chairman. Replacing Stitt as CEO was Stephen Curry (not the basketball star), who brought 30 years of financial experience to the company.

Just after stepping down as CEO, Stitt’s company acquired Oklahoma’s Farmers Exchange Bank, bringing the company more into the traditional banking space.

As for Stitt, he now moves on to the general election.

As the Tulsa World notes, Stitt “billed himself as a political outsider who could fix the state’s budget mess,” while also tying himself to President Donald Trump and the Trump administration’s policies.

Stitt’s campaign website lists the following as the main issues guiding his campaign: prioritizing government efficiency, reforming our education system, expanding economic prosperity, promoting Oklahoma’s agriculture, advancing pro-life priorities, protecting second amendment rights, improving our infrastructure, and fostering a healthy Oklahoma.

Political prognostication site 538 suggests that Stitt may have a harder time securing the governors’ mansion than one might expect given the traditional red state status of Oklahoma.

 From 538’s recap of the Oklahoma governor’s race:

Republicans picked businessman Kevin Stitt as their nominee for Oklahoma governor over former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, 55 percent to 45 percent. That qualified as good news for Democrats, since early polls showed their nominee, Drew Edmondson, narrowly leading Stitt but tied at best with Cornett. Outgoing Gov. Mary Fallin is terribly unpopular, which has given Democrats a real shot in this otherwise very red state.

The general election is Nov. 6, 2018.

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