OR…….Alternative Headline: Why I voted for Kevin Stitt!
I had the opportunity to meet Kevin Stitt last spring. The story of how my family met Kevin is probably no more unique than the next persons, but it has been a pretty cool experience in politics from the sidelines and worth a post. Especially since my last post was nearly TWO YEARS AGO!!!
So here is how this happened…..My dad belongs to a group in Oklahoma City comprised of some CEO’s and businessmen who meet once a week to hear a speaker or learn about something of interest going on in the state. Each member is responsible for inviting a speaker and planning the meeting. When my dad’s turn rolled around in January of 2018, he asked me and the Senator if we had any ideas for a political figure since it was an election year. The Lt. Governor (who was running for Governor) and the Mayor of Oklahoma City (also running for Governor) had already addressed the group which narrowed the field of high profile choices somewhat.
In full honesty, I hadn’t much thought about the 2018 election cycle to be able to point him in the right direction, so I did a little research and stumbled upon a candidate in the Governor’s race who peaked my interest. There was a guy, originally from Norman, who went to college in Stillwater and was currently a successful businessman from Tulsa… an outsider to politics. The more I read about him, the more I liked and encouraged my dad to reach out to his campaign with an invitation to speak. So he did.
As you might imagine, not many people had heard of this candidate and most people in my dad’s business club had already hitched their wagon to someone else’s gubernatorial campaign. Stitt was not familiar with government or politics and like many Oklahomans, hadn’t even voted in recent elections much less been involved in the political process. I am sure that didn’t go over well with my dad’s business club….or maybe it did, because this Stitt guy from Tulsa was in the Governor’s race for ALL the right reasons.
Kevin came to speak at that early January meeting and then circled back to speak at another meet and greet my mom and dad enthusiastically hosted in their home.
He talked about making Oklahoma a top ten state in everything from education and infastructure to addressing our incredibly high incarceration rates. What made Kevin different from other candidates (who also talked about those very same topics), aside from not being a career politician, was his realization that the state needs to make some structural changes in the way we do business. (Can we get an Amen!!!)
From that point forward, the Senator and I were ALL IN – in terms of helping Kevin get elected. Our state was in desperate need of structural change and new ideas. Being slightly familiar with the political scene (said ever so smugly), we were convinced he had the right vision, business acumen and leaderhsip for moving our state forward. We also knew that more people needed to hear his message!! The Senator and I sent out letters to friends and extended friends, held two fundraising events in our home, waived signs by polling stations and kept both Kevin, Sarah and their six kids in our prayers. Politics is rough and this guy needed a full suit of armor and support.
Fast forward to today and the official inauguration of Oklahoma’s 28th Governor, Kevin Stitt. Incidentally, the sun is shining. Energy, optimism and hope are abundant. Oklahoma’s turnaround has commenced.