Perhaps nothing illustrates the differences in the fundraising profiles of Gov. Kevin Stitt and Democratic challenger Joy Hofmeister than this: Stitt raised twice as much as Hofmeister from June 14 to Aug. 8 but needed only half as many lines to report it.
That means Stitt has far more donors giving the maximum amount allowed under state law — $2,900 per person per election, which in this case (primary plus general) is a total of $5,800 per person.
More than four times as many, based on a rough estimate using the most recent Oklahoma Ethics Commission filings.
Most of Stitt’s cash comes from inside Oklahoma, but supporters from Las Vegas to Florida have hosted fundraisers for the incumbent governor, or at least paid for them, according to the reports.
Hofmeister, meanwhile, has relied on more donors giving less money, at least in the June 14-Aug. 8 report. Her contributions tend to come in $50 or $100 at a time, sometimes more, often in multiple installments.
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The result is a huge advantage for Stitt’s campaign going into the final three months before the Nov. 8 general election. Stitt has not only raised far more money — more than $6.3 million, all told — but he’s spent more money — about $5.3 million — on everything from high-production television advertising to digital campaigns to polling.
The campaign has spent more than $100,000 just to process credit card contributions. Just one printing and postage tab is almost $330,000.
Hofmeister has raised a little under $1.6 million and spent about $1.1 million. At this rate, she has to get five times as many votes per dollar to have a chance to win.
Two other candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot, Libertarian Natalie Bruno and independent Ervin Yen, have raised even less.
Stitt’s campaign has particularly mined oil and gas, as well as other business sectors, for big donors. Notable donors during the last reporting period include Coal Alliance; Aaon executive Scott Bjornson; the Atwood’s retail store family of Enid; former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi; Tulsa real estate developers Mike and Pat Case; Oklahoma Health Care Authority Chief Executive Officer Kevin Corbett and his wife, Peggy Corbett; Oklahoma Opportunity Scholarship Fund President Charlie Daniels and state Sen. Julie Daniels; the Freymiller trucking family of Oklahoma City; Oklahoma City civic leader Tricia Everest; former University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly and his wife, Janet Gallogly; prominent Tulsan Hans Helmerich and his wife, Lea Helmerich; and Bixby banker and former Stitt Cabinet official Sean Kouplen.
Also: Bama Cos. CEO Paula Marshall; the Mabrey banking family of Tulsa and Okmulgee; Tulsa Realtor Sam Rader and his wife, Barbara Rader; Saint Francis CEO Cliff Robertson; Tyson Foods CEO John Tyson; and Webco CEO Dana Weber.
Hofmeister’s notable donors during the last reporting period include Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby; the Citizen Potawatomi Nation; Tulsa businessman Burt Holmes; former Sonic CEO Cliff Hudson and his wife, Leslie Hudson; Tulsa oil and gas investor George Krumme; Chickasaw official Jay Keel; BancFirst founder H.E. Rainbolt; former Gov. Brad Henry advisors Rick Sund and Gerald Adams; former Cherokee Chief Ross Swimmer; and Tulsa attorney Kalyn Free.
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