Left, Democrat Drew Edmondson. Right, Republican Kevin Stitt.

Tulsa mortgage company owner Kevin Stitt took the next step on Tuesday in his rise from political unknown to potential Oklahoma Governor, easily outpacing former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in the Republican runoff.

Stitt’s rise was perhaps easier than many expected. In the months between June’s primary and Tuesday’s runoff, he was criticized for voting records that showed he rarely has ever voted in state elections as well as sanctions against his mortgage company.

Stitt now moves on to November’s general election against Democratic opponent Drew Edmondson.

In his victory speech, Stitt called for an end to “politics as usual” and pledged to bring about “smaller government.”

“As your next governor my promise to you is that I’m always going to be focused on strengthening all Oklahoma families for the next generation and not the next election.”

Edmondson emailed supporters within minutes of Stitt’s victory on Tuesday and said he was “ready for this fight.”

Stitt and Edmondson now have only a couple of short months to convince voters that they’re the solution to Oklahoma’s mounting problems.

With no one to campaign directly against, Edmondson has mostly laid low since winning his primary in June. His strategy over the intervening months was to tie Stitt and Cornett to each other, and then lasso that rope to Mary Fallin. Cornett and Stitt, Edmondson has said, are not only like each other, they’re also like Fallin, the Republican Governor whose popularity in deeply red Oklahoma has nosedived during her two terms in office.

Edmondson, a known name with considerable financial backing, was considered a massive favorite over former Sen. Connie Johnson in June’s primary. But in Stitt he has a more than formidable opponent. Considered a longshot when he announced his gubernatorial bid, Stitt has raised a large sum of money (and donated himself even more,) overcoming his lack of name recognition and experience to earn the Republican nod.

Stitt’s runoff victory could signal that Oklahoma, which voted for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in the presidential primary, has shifted further right since then. Stitt has been vocal in his support of President Donald Trump, even using his stances on Trump’s wall and immigration to draw Cornett out of the middle.

Like Trump, Stitt referred to himself as a businessman and outsider, drums he will likely continue beating against Edmondson, who previously served 16 years as Oklahoma’s Attorney General.

As for Cornett, the somber former mayor told his supporters that Tuesday night likely signaled the end of his political career.

“There’s a really good chance my name will never be on another ballot,” Cornett said. “So you need to understand tonight as I step away from the political scene, how much I’ve always loved the opportunity to represent you.

“Tomorrow we’ll wake up and see what the world looks like, but right now we have nothing but positive memories about this entire run, so know from the bottom of our hearts how much we appreciate you.”