More than $4 million was raised by 12 candidates in the third quarter of 2017 as the battle to become Oklahoma’s next governor continues to shape up.
The race, which will likely end up being the most expensive in Oklahoma’s history by the time it ends in November 2018, appears at least financially to be between four men: Republicans Todd Lamb, Kevin Stitt and Mick Cornett, and Democrat Drew Edmondson.
Third-quarter fundraising and expenditure forms were due to be filed Tuesday.
Stitt, a mortgage broker from Tulsa, made the strongest third-quarter splash, raising $811,000 in donations. He loaned himself an additional $800,000, according to finance documents.
Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb continued strong fundraising efforts by raising $620,000 in the third quarter. Lamb, who began the quarter with more than $2 million in his war chest thanks to strong fundraising and another $1 million left over from his Lieutenant Governor campaign, has the most money at his disposal of all the candidates — $2,413,830.65, more than a million dollars more than Stitt.
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett reported raising $592,157.29, the fourth highest total among the group behind Stitt, Lamb, and Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson.
Richardson reporting raising $25,000 in donations and loaned himself an additional $825,000, records show.
Drew Edmondson, the leading Democratic candidate in the race following the stunning withdrawal of House Minority Leader Scott Inman last month, reported raising $243,990.00 in donations.
Inman reported raising $69,628.70 in the third quarter, but withdrew from the race Oct. 25 in the midst of a special session at the state capitol as the legislature battled over the state budget crisis.
Inman indicated he would serve in the legislature throughout the year, and said in a Facebook post the day of his announcement that “The stresses and strains of my career, the time away from my family and the choice to wrongly prioritize my life’s decisions have brought me to this moment. I can no longer ask my wife and children to sacrifice for me. It is time for me to reprioritize what is important in this world.”
Dan Fisher, a former Republican state representative from El Reno, entered the race with a strong third quarter, raising $90,660.45 — a figure that included a $20,000 loan to himself.
State Auditor Gary Jones, a Republican from Cache, raised $32,200.00 in donations, according to records.
Connie Johnson, a former Democratic state senator, reported raising just over $17,000. With Inman’s departure, Johnson is one of only two Democratic candidates and is the only female in the race.
Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado was the only one of three Libertarian candidates to report raising more than $1,000 during the third quarter. Maldonado raised $1,837.08, but faced tragedy at the same time, announcing in early October that his husband — Travis Maldonado — had accidentally shot and killed himself.
Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes told The Oklahoman that Travis Maldonado “held a gun to his head and told others with him it would not fire before he pulled the trigger,” the newspaper reported.
As far as expenditures for the quarter, Stitt spent the most money, $263,119.69, primarily on campaign consulting and advertising.
Third quarter fundraising
Kevin Stitt, R-Tulsa, $1,611,147.27
Gary Richardson, R-Tulsa, $850,232.77
Todd Lamb, R-OKC, $620,743.79
Mick Cornett, R-OKC, $592,157.29
Drew Edmondson, D-OKC, $243,990.00
Dan Fisher, R-El Reno, $90,660.45
Scott Inman, D-OKC, $69,628.70
Gary Jones, R-Cache, $32,200.00
Connie Johnson, D-OKC, $17,049.00
Joseph Maldonado, R-Wynnewood, $1,837.08
Chris Powell, L-Bethany, $757
Rex Lawhorn, L-Broken Arrow, $325
Third quarter expenditures
Kevin Stitt, R-Tulsa, $263,119.69
Drew Edmondson, D-OKC, $207,190.46
Todd Lamb, R-OKC, $190,911.82
Mick Cornett, R-OKC, $146,946.57
Gary Richardson, R-TUlsa, $103,157.43
Scott Inman, R-OKC, $60,997.12
Dan Fisher, R-El Reno, $27,633.99
Connie Johnson D-OKC, $25,775.93
Gary Jones, R-Cache, $10,966.72
Joseph Maldonado, R-Wynnewood, $1,758.75
Chris Powell, L-Bethany, $172.40
Rex Lawhorn, L-Broken Arrow, $0