Many Oklahoma Congressional candidates worth millions, financial disclosures show

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From left: Tim Harris, Kevin Hern, Markwayne Mullin, Frank Lucas, Tom Cole, Fred Gipson, Kendra Horn, Tom Guild.
Oklahoma has no shortage of millionaire-candidates vying for — or already occupying — the state’s five seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, an analysis of Congressional Personal Financial Disclosure data shows.

Of the 18 remaining candidates (which will be winnowed down to 13 after the Aug. 28 primary run-off election), at least eight had an approximate net worth of $1 million or more, the financial disclosure records show. And that’s not counting the four congressional candidates who did not file a financial disclosure report.

The wealthiest candidate by far is Tulsa Republican candidate Kevin Hern, who owns 10 McDonald’s franchises in addition to ownership interests in several other companies. He has largely self-financed his campaign. Hern’s most recent financial disclosure shows his net worth is somewhere between $36 million and $92 million.

Meanwhile, the sitting congressman with the highest reported net worth, according to the financial disclosure reports, was Congressional District 2 incumbent Markwayne Mullin, who owns Mullin Plumbing. Mullin’s most recent filing puts his net worth at somewhere between $3.3 million and $14.4 million, with a reported income of between $3.5 million and $13.3 million in 2017, the financial reports state.

The personal financial disclosure reports are required to be filed by all sitting members of Congress, but unlike non-incumbent candidates for state office in Oklahoma, all congressional candidates who spend $5,000 or more campaigning must also file reports.

The reports are a public record.

The financial disclosure reports do not include Congressional salary, only sources of outside income and income-generating assets and investments. Personal residences are not required to be included, though some filers do so. And often, exact value of assets and income are not required — only a value or income range, though in many cases a candidate will list the exact amount of their income. In addition, the disclosures require candidates to list their liabilities, such as a loan, as well as their positions on boards of directors for companies or organizations.

Using the personal financial disclosures filed by Oklahoma’s Congressional candidates, The Frontier was able to determine an approximate net worth for each of the filers. To learn more about the methodology used, click here. For a list of all the candidates’ reported assets, income and liabilities, click the candidate’s name.

Congressional District 1

Median Household income: $52,319

People earning below poverty level: 15.4%

Source:U.S. Census Bureau

Oklahoma Congressional District 1. Courtesy/U.S. Census Bureau.
Amanda Douglas, Democrat candidate for Congressional District 1. Courtesy.

Name: Amanda Douglas
Party: Democrat
Status: Candidate (Aug. 28 runoff)
Estimated Net Worth: $77,003 ($18,006 — $136,000)
Value of assets reported: $33,006 — $146,000
Reported Liabilities: $10,000 — $15,000
Reported 2017 income: $59,584 — $60,383
About: Douglas, a Broken Arrow resident, works as a business analyst and consultant in the energy sector. Douglas’ financial disclosures show that most of her investments are through a 401(k) plan and most of her reported income comes from her salaried position as a consultant. Her sole reported liability is a revolving charge account.

Tim Gilpin, Democrat candidate for Congressional District 1. Courtesy.

Name: Tim Gilpin
Party: Democrat
Status: Candidate (Aug. 28 runoff)
Estimated Net Worth: $16,001 ($2,002 — $30,000)
Value of assets reported: $2,000 — $30,000
Reported Liabilities: $0
Reported 2017 income: $88,000 — $90,000
About: Gilpin, a Tulsa resident, operates his own law practice and has served on the Oklahoma Board of Education and is a former Oklahoma assistant attorney general. His financial disclosures list two children’s college savings plans as assets, and the majority of his income last year came from his law practice. Gilpin serves on the Board of Directors for the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa. Gilpin reported having no liabilities.

Tim Harris, Republican candidate for Congressional District 1. Courtesy.

Name: Tim Harris
Party: Republican
Status: Candidate (Aug. 28 runoff)
Estimated Net Worth: $4,118,005 ($2,186,109 — $6,050,000)
Value of assets reported: $2,186,109 — $6,050,000
Reported Liabilities: $0
Reported 2017 income: $178,399 — $253,722
About: Harris, a Tulsa resident, served as Tulsa County District Attorney for 16 years. He serves on several boards or committees and is president of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Foundation. Harris’ financial disclosures show Harris holds at least $2.1 million spread out over multiple investments, though much of those investments are in tax-deferred retirement accounts and similar accounts. The majority of Harris’ 2017 income came from pension payments from the state of Oklahoma, but also included capital gains and stock dividends. Harris reported having no liabilities.

Kevin Hern, Republican candidate for Congressional District 1. Courtesy.

Name: Kevin Hern
Party: Republican
Status: Candidate (Aug. 28 runoff)
Estimated Net Worth: $64,560,618 ($36,791,243 — $92,329,993)
Value of assets reported: $38,941,243 — $93,345,000
Reported Liabilities: $1,015,007 — $2,150,000
Reported 2017 income: $1,773,863 — $8,161,800
About: Hern, a Tulsa resident, is by far the wealthiest candidate running for a congressional seat in Oklahoma. He has served on the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s board and is finance committee chair for the Oklahoma GOP. Hern’s KTAK Corp, which operates 10 McDonald’s franchises, makes up the biggest part of his reported assets, with a value between $25 million and $50 million, and which accounts for $1 million to $5 million of his reported income last year. But Hern also has significant ownership interests in several other companies in Oklahoma and Arkansas, as well as millions in income in 2017 from capital gains and dividends from stock investments. Most of his reported liabilities come from loans associated with his McDonald’s franchises and other business ventures.

Congressional District 2

Median household income: $40,770

Percent of people earning below poverty level: 18.9 percent

Source:U.S. Census Bureau

Oklahoma Congressional District 2. Courtesy/U.S. Census Bureau.
Markwayne Mullin, Republican incumbent for Congressional District 2. Courtesy.

Name: Markwayne Mullin
Party: Republican
Status: Incumbent (Nov. 6 general election)
Estimated Net Worth: $8,825,515 ($3,264,031 — $14,386,999)
Value of assets reported: $4,264,031 — $14,887,000
Reported Liabilities: $500,001 — $1,000,000
Reported 2017 income: $2,490,922 — $13,309,700
About: Mullin, a Westville resident and owner of Mullin Plumbing, was first elected as congressman for District 2 in 2012. Though Mullin pledged to limit himself to only three terms, he later decided to run for a fourth term in 2018. Mullin reported more income in 2017 than any other congressional candidate in Oklahoma. Mullin Plumbing accounts for the majority of his assets and last year’s income, particularly Mullin Plumbing’s Moore office, which alone accounted for $1 million to $5 million in income for Mullin in 2017. Income Mullin Properties and Mullin Services also accounted for between $200,000 and $2 million in income for Mullin last year. Mullin’s only reported liability is for the purchase of the Mullin Plumbing company.

 

Clay Padgett, Democrat candidate for Congressional District 2. Courtesy.

Name: Clay Padgett
Party: Democrat
Status: Candidate (Aug. 28 runoff)
Estimated Net Worth: $1,741,517 ($707,038 — $2,775,996)
Value of assets reported: $1,307,038 — $3,006,000
Reported Liabilities: $230,004 — $600,000
Reported 2017 income: $365,420 — $484,600
About: Clay Padgett, a Soper resident and ranch-owner, completed two tours in Iraq and a tour in Afghanistan as a U.S. Army officer before retiring in 2015. The majority of Padgett’s reported assets are tax-deferred investments (such as retirement plans) rental properties in Colorado or in cattle. Most of Padgett’s reported income came through capital gains from rental property sales or rent, cattle sales, or his wife’s salary from the energy, tech and finance consulting firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where she serves as a managing associate in Washington D.C. for the company’s energy and infrastructure group. Padgett’s reported liabilities include mortgages for the rental properties, ranch and an auto loan.

 

Jason Nichols, Democrat candidate for Congressional District 2. Courtesy.

Name: Jason Nichols
Party: Democrat
Status: Candidate (Aug. 28 runoff)
Estimated Net Worth: $67,500 (-$49,999 — $184,998)
Value of assets reported: $100,001 — $250,000
Reported Liabilities: $65,002 — $150,000
Reported 2017 income: $101,301 — $103,800
About: Jason Nichols is currently serving his second term as mayor of Tahlequah after serving two terms on the city council. He also serves as a political science instructor at Northeastern State University. The sole asset reported by Nichols was a rent house, and all of Nichols’s reported income comes from his and his wife’s salaries at Northeastern State University, from the City of Tahlequah and from his board membership at the Northeastern Oklahoma Public Facilities Authority. His only reported liabilities were a mortgage on his rental property and student loans.

 

Richard Castaldo, Libertarian candidate for Congressional District 2. Courtesy.

Name: Richard Castaldo
Party: Libertarian
Status: Candidate (Nov. 6 general election)
Estimated Net Worth: -$182,502 (-$250,000 — $115,003)
Value of assets reported: $0
Reported Liabilities: $115,003 — $250,000
Reported 2017 income: $57,952
About: Richard Castaldo, a Grove resident, has worked in retail and customer service for years, serves as a street pastor for GrandLakeLife and is a self-described “political activist dedicated to serving people wherever I see the opportunity.” Castaldo reported holding no stocks or investment properties, and reported income only from his work as a pastor and his wife’s salary from Freeman Health System. Castaldo’s reported liabilities only included student loans and repayment of student aid to the U.S. Department of Education.

 

John Foreman, Independent candidate for Congressional District 2. Courtesy.

Name: John Foreman
Party: Independent
Status: Candidate (Nov. 6 general election)
Estimated Net Worth: DID NOT REPORT
Value of assets reported: DID NOT REPORT
Reported Liabilities: DID NOT REPORT
Reported 2017 income: DID NOT REPORT
About: John Foreman, of Park Hill, has served as a call center manager and the manager of a plasma center. Foreman did not file a personal financial disclosure form with the U.S. House of Representatives’ Clerk’s Office.

 

Congressional District 3

Median household income: $47,724

Percent of people earning below the poverty level: 16.4 percent

Source:U.S. Census Bureau

Oklahoma Congressional District 3. Courtesy/U.S. Census Bureau.
Frank Lucas, Republican incumbent for Congressional District 4. Courtesy.

Name: Frank Lucas
Party: Republican
Status: Incumbent (Nov. 6 general election)
Estimated Net Worth: $1,352,504 ($485,013 — $2,219,994)
Value of assets reported: $1,150,013 — $2,475,000
Reported Liabilities: $255,006 — $665,000
Reported 2017 income: $60,006 — $130,600
About: Frank Lucas, a Cheyanne resident, has served as District 3’s U.S. Representative since first being elected in 1994. Prior to his election as Congressman, Lucas served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The vast majority of Lucas’s reported assets are in the form of oil and gas royalties or farmland in Roger Mills County, and most of his reported income (which excludes his congressional salary) comes from his farm. Lucas’s biggest reported liabilities are a line of credit and a mortgage on his farm property with Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma.

  

Frankie Robbins, Democrat candidate for Congressional District 3. Courtesy.

Name: Frankie Robbins
Party: Democrat
Status: Candidate (Nov. 6 general election)
Estimated Net Worth: DID NOT REPORT
Value of assets reported: DID NOT REPORT
Reported Liabilities: DID NOT REPORT
Reported 2017 income: DID NOT REPORT
About: Frankie Robbins, a Medford resident, worked for the United State Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service for 32 years before returning home to his family’s 160-acre ranch. He was the lone Democrat to file for the Congressional District 3 seat in 2018. Robbins did not file a personal financial disclosure form with the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

Congressional District 4

Median Household Income: $55,183

Percent of people earning under the poverty level: 13.5 percent

Source:U.S. Census Bureau

Oklahoma Congressional District 4. Courtesy/U.S. Census Bureau.
Tom Cole, Republican incumbent for Congressional District 4. Courtesy.

Name: Tom Cole
Party: Republican
Status: Incumbent (Nov. 6 general election)
Estimated Net Worth: $5,283,531 ($3,201,061 — $7,366,000)
Value of assets reported: $3,201,061 — $7,366,000
Reported Liabilities: $0
Reported 2017 income: $118,658 — $303,800
About: Tom Cole, a Moore resident, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Oklahoma’s Fourth District in 2002. Prior to his election, he worked as a political consultant and strategist. Cole’s personal financial disclosure report shows much of his reported assets are in the form of stocks in a wide array of companies and funds, as well as his ownership interest in his jointly-owned political consulting firm Cole, Hargraves, Snodgrass & Associates and a phone bank operating out of Moore. Cole is also one of the few candidates to report his personal residence as an asset. He reported no liabilities in his disclosure form.

Fred Gipson, Democrat candidate for Congressional District 4. Courtesy.

Name: Fred Gipson
Party: Democrat
Status: Candidate (Aug. 28 runoff)
Estimated Net Worth: $5,445,006 ($2,500,013 — $8,389,998)
Value of assets reported: $2,615,013 — $8,450,000
Reported Liabilities: $60,002 — $15,000
Reported 2017 income: $225,017 — $1,298,307
About: Fred Gipson, a Norman resident, is a U.S. Army veteran, an attorney, has taught political science at the University of Oklahoma and is the former mayor of Seminole. Gipson also has ownership interests in Seminole Mud Company, TCINA Inc. (an oil and gas company) and Downhole Tubular. TCINA and Downhole made up the largest portion of Gipson’s assets, with a combined value of between $1.5 million and $6 million. Gipson’s only reported liabilities were loans associated with Downhole and a vehicle loan.

  

Mary Brannon, Democrat candidate for Congressional District 4. Courtesy.

Name: Mary Brannon
Party: Democrat
Status: Candidate (Aug. 28 runoff)
Estimated Net Worth: DID NOT REPORT
Value of assets reported: DID NOT REPORT
Reported Liabilities: DID NOT REPORT
Reported 2017 income: DID NOT REPORT
About: Mary Brannon is a Washington, Okla., resident, and served as a teacher and school counselor for more than 25 years. Brannon did not file a personal financial disclosure form with the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

Ruby Peters, Independent candidate for Congressional District 4. Courtesy

Name: Ruby Peters
Party: Independent
Status: Candidate (Nov. 6 general election)
Estimated Net Worth: DID NOT REPORT
Value of assets reported: DID NOT REPORT
Reported Liabilities: DID NOT REPORT
Reported 2017 income: DID NOT REPORT
About: Ruby Peters, a Lawton resident, has spent more than 40 years in the education field as a teacher and a school administrator. In 2016, Peters ran unsuccessfully for the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Peters did not file a personal financial disclosure form with the U.S. House of Representatives.

  

Congressional District 5

Median Household Income: $49,616

Percent of people earning below the poverty level: 17.3 percent

Source:U.S. Census Bureau

Oklahoma Congressional District 5. Courtesy/U.S. Census Bureau.

 

Steve Russell, Republican incumbent Congressional District 5. Courtesy.

Name: Steve Russell
Party: Republican
Status: Incumbent (Nov. 6 general election)
Estimated Net Worth: $270,506 ($129,012 — $412,000)
Value of assets reported: $129,012 — $412,000
Reported Liabilities: $0*
Reported 2017 income: $5,404 — $17,200
About: Russell, a resident of Choctaw, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014. Prior to being elected, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army, and served in Iraq, Afghanistan and numerous other areas around the world. He served in the Oklahoma State Senate from 2008 to 2012. Russell’s financial disclosure shows that most of his investments are in tax-deferred funds and, aside from his Congressional salary, his next biggest source of income was Two Rivers Arms, a firearm manufacturing company in Oklahoma City of which he has a 60 percent ownership stake. Russell’s only reported liability was his home mortgage.

 

Kendra Horn, Democrat candidate for Congressional District 5. Courtesy.

Name: Kendra Horn
Party: Democrat
Status: Candidate (Aug. 28 runoff)
Estimated Net Worth: $414,505 ($209,010 — $619,999)
Value of assets reported: $259,010 — $635,000
Reported Liabilities: $15,001 — $50,000
Reported 2017 income: $74,621 — $109,819
About: Kendra Horn, a resident of Oklahoma City and former aerospace employee, has operated two nonprofit organizations focused on leadership development and encouraging women to run for public office. Horn’s financial disclosure shows that her single most valuable asset is a rental property in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The majority of her reported income came from rent from that property and from her salary. Her reported liabilities included two mortgages and student loans.

 

Tom Guild, Democrat candidate for Congressional District 5. Courtesy.

Name: Tom Guild
Party: Democrat
Status: Candidate (Aug. 28 runoff)
Estimated Net Worth: $1,175,003 ($750,005 — $1,600,000)
Value of assets reported: $750,005 — $1,600,000
Liabilities Reported: $0
Reported 2017 income: $38,505 — $122,500
About: Tom Guild, an Edmond resident, is a professor at the University of Central Oklahoma and taught law at Oklahoma City University from 2006 to 2009. He previously ran unsuccessfully for the Fifth Congressional seat in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Guild’s financial disclosure shows that most of his assets are held in retirement plans, the dividends from which are his largest source of reported income. Guild reported having no liabilities.

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Clifton Adcock

Senior Staff Writer

A veteran investigative reporter who has covered eastern Oklahoma for more than 15 years, Clifton joined The Frontier in April 2017. A native of southeastern Oklahoma, he has covered numerous issues from criminal justice to politics for publications including the Tulsa World, the Oklahoma Gazette, and Oklahoma Watch. Clifton holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. Clifton can be reached at clifton@readfrontier.com. Follow him on Twitter @cliftonhowze
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