Kevin Stitt is the 28th governor of the state of Oklahoma, and he is the second Native American to hold the position in Okalhoma. However, Stitt is the first who is considered tribally enrolled to serve as governor of any American state. Stitt is considered a member of the Cherokee nation.
Stitt has recently garnered national news due to signing a bill that effectively made abortion in Oklahoma illegal, with a few exceptions. A Republican, Stitt is considered a staunch conservative leader. However, Stitt has been moderate in his handling of criminal justice reform as well as the legalization of marijuana in his state.
|Celebrated Name:||Kevin Stitt|
|Real Name/Full Name:||John Kevin Stitt|
|Birthdate:||December 28, 1972|
|Nationality:||American (considered a member of the Cherokee Nation as well)|
|Height:||5 ft. 5 in.|
|Wife/Spouse||Sarah Stitt (nee’ Hazen)|
|Children/Kids:||One son: Levi; Three stepchildren – Dave Driscoll, Carina Driscoll, Heather Driscoll TitusSix (Three boys, three girls) – Natalie, Drew, Kate, Piper, Remington and HoustonThree stepchildren – Dave Driscoll, Carina Driscoll, Heather Driscoll Titus|
|Is Kevin Stitt Gay?||No|
|Highest Political Office:||Governor of Oklahoma|
|Colleges Attended:||Oklahoma State University – Stillwater|
|Degrees:||Bachelor’s – Accounting|
|Net Worth in 2022:||approximately $20 million|
Biography: Early Life and Family
Although Kevin Stitt was born in Florida, he has spent most of his life in Norman, Oklahoma. Kevin’s father, John Stitt, was the pastor of Riverside Church in Wyne, Oklahoma. Little information is available about Kevin’s mother, Joyce, or Kevin’s siblings.
Stitt attended and graduated from Norman High School. He would then pursue an education at Oklahoma State University’s Stillwater campus.
Stitt has talked openly about his working through college. Stitt learned early on that he had a knack for sales. He took a job with Southwestern Advantage, which is a company that sells educational products. Stitt’s job was to sell these items door-to-door. Southwestern advantage sells not only books but other products that assist with parents helping their children in reading and language. Typically, Southwestern Advantage offers sales jobs to students, and they offer internships as well. When Stitt took the job with Southwestern Advantage, he became the company’s top seller. In fact, Stitt is the first freshman sales employee to achieve the title of “top salesperson.”
Stitt would later use this experience when he graduated college and worked in the financial sector.
Kevin Stitt married Sarah Hazen in 1998. Together, the couple have six children, their three boys are Drew, Remington and Houston; their daughters are Piper, Natalie, and Kate.
Sarah Stitt is a highly-involved first lady of Oklahoma. Her platform involves mental health awareness, particularly ACES (adverse childhood experiences). She travels the state working with this program. She is also working with a committee on the ongoing renovation of the Governor’s mansion.
The Stitts are active members of Woodlake Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Age, Height, and Weight
Kevin Stitt is 49 years old. He is 5′ 5″ in height, and he weighs 157 pounds.
Kevin founded the Gateway Mortgage Company, which he is said to have started with his own computer equipment and a small sum of personal money. Stitt was with Gateway Mortgage until 2018 as the company’s CEO, when he ran for governor of Oklahoma. However, he was still the chairman of the company until he was inaugurated as governor. The former legal counsel of the company has since taken the role of CEO. When Stitt was working to build Gateway, Sarah worked at the company as well.
Gateway was established in 2000, and sources report that the company grew “rapidly” between 2000 – 2010.
Gateway is considered a mid-sized company with over 1,000 employees.
Kevin Stitt’s net worth is estimated at $20 million.
Governor Stitt’s annual salary as governor of Oklahoma is approximately $147,000. He has been governor for two years.
Career Outside of Politics
Stitt’s career outside politics centers around his former company, Gateway Mortgage. There has been some controversy at the company, and this controversy reared its head when Stitt ran for governor.
In 2009, some Gateway Mortgage employees were fired for making loans that did not follow local and federal compliance. Business Insider listed the company as “One of the fifteen shadiest lenders” in the industry (Gateway Mortgage issued government-backed housing loans). The publication alleged that Gateway “originated nearly twice as many bad mortgages as its competition.” In 2018, however, investigative reporters found that the Business Insider article offered many inaccuracies, including the accusation that the company lost its license in the state of Illinois. While Gateway Mortgage did pay a fine, the company did not, in fact, have its license pulled.
Another inaccuracy in the media was an article that alleged Stitt himself had been banned from originating mortgages in the state of Georgia. The issues in Georgia stemmed from a lack of background checks and misrepresentations of employees in the Georgia office. Stitt was not involved in any of the issues, and the employees were eventually fired. Gateway paid a fine, and their license to once again originate loans in that state was restored.
Gateway Mortgages is now in good standing in each of the aforementioned states, and they are allowed to originate mortgages in all fifty states.
Prior to starting Gateway Mortgages, which Stitt says he did with a computer and $1,000 of his own personal money, Stitt had worked in the financial sector. Stitt would eventually take out a home equity loan on his home in order to obtain the assets for his FHA license.
Career in Politics
Kevin Stitt announced his intentions to run for the governor of Oklahoma in 2017. He stated he would be running as a Republican. Stitt was one of nine in the initial primary for the position, and he set himself apart by visiting every county (all 77) in Oklahoma.
Stitt would face both a Democratic candidate as well as a Libertarian candidate.
Stitt garnered support in his primary run-off from political heavyweights such as Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA). The incumbent (and outgoing) governor of Oklahoma also offered an endorsement of Stitt. He was also supported by President Donald Trump.
Stitt’s campaign motto championed himself as the only candidate that had business experience and the knowledge to create jobs. Stitt promised to “clean up” things in his home state.
Stitt has made quite a name for himself as governor. Most recently, Stitt signed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in any of the fifty states into law. The bill was initially called House Bill 4327, and it bans abortion with very few exceptions.
The bill is written so that it bans abortions “from the stage of fertilization.” The bill allows for citizens of Oklahoma to to sue abortion providers in civil court for providing abortion services. The only exceptions to the new law include cases where the life of the mother is in danger, or the pregnancy is a result of a reported rape or incest. (The victim must have reported the incident to law enforcement in order to be allowed to abort the pregnancy.)
The ACLU has said they will file suit on the new law, which is expected to take effect this summer.
The new law is written specifically to address the situation of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. Should a woman miscarry a pregnancy, doctors are allowed to perform the procedure to remove the failed pregnancy. In the case of ectopic pregnancy, then the same rules apply.
Abortion isn’t the only area of government where Stitt has made ripples in the proverbial political water. Stitt has lifted an Oklahoma moratorium on carrying out capital punishment (Oklahoma had installed the moratorium after a botched execution as well as an “execution by unauthorized methods.”) However, Stitt commuted the upcoming death sentence of Julius Jones the following year.
Stitt is more moderate where criminal justice reform is concerned. Many Oklahoman district attorneys were concerned with Stitt’s approach to paroling individuals. Some said that Stitt wasn’t “tough enough” on crime, and some political ads began airing stating the same. However, Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of incarcerations in a democratic government. Some accused Stitt of putting “improper pressure” on the members of the Parole Board, but this accusation was found to have no basis.
Stitt is working to address criminal justice in his state. Stitt has proposed making SQ780, which reduced certain drug possession crimes into misdemeanors, retroactive. The move also proposed restructuring the “funding scheme” of district attorney offices in Oklahoma. Stitt has also written and signed an executive order which would commission a group to reduce the incarceration rate in Oklahoma.
Stitt signed into law HB2612, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act. However, Stitt did not champion this legislation; it was already moving through the Oklahoma state legislature when Stitt was a candidate.
While Stitt is moderate – even progressive – on some matters, he is rigidly conservative on others. In 2021, Stitt signed a bill that would “prohibit the teaching of critical race theory.” Stitt utilized quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he signed the bill. Opponents of the bill said that critical race theory was unlikely taught in the classroom in the Sooner state, and others said Stitt was attempting to “whitewash” history.
In November 2021, Stitt signed a bill that prohibits individuals from changing the gender on their birth certificate. The following year, Stitt signed a bill that would prohibit any nonbinary indications on birth certificates. In May 2022, Stitt signed a bill that deems students at both public and charter schools must use a restroom and a locker room that matches the gender indicated on a birth certificate.
Stitt has also signed into law legislation regarding firearms. In fact, the first legislation Stitt signed dealt with guns. the law states that anyone twenty-one or older, or one who is eighteen and is an active or former member of the military, is allowed to carry a firearm without having to obtain training or procure a firearms license. He also signed HB 2010, which allows for the concealed carry of firearms in areas such as zoos and parks.
State Question 802 has been filed in answer to Stitt’s opposition to the expansion of Medicaid. This petition has not been further legislated.
Stitt’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been called into question. Although Stitt received a COVID-19 vaccination, many of his opponents were upset that Stitt did not use his social media accounts to further promote getting the vaccine to Oklahoma natives. They also pointed out a Twitter post in which Stitt went out to eat during the pandemic with two of his children. Stitt later deleted the tweet.
Stitt ordered a large amount of hydroxychloroquine in April 2020; many said that this was due to the influence of then-President Donald Trump.
Stitt sent a letter to current Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin requesting that the Oklahoma National Guard be dismissed from a military service requirement for the COVID-19 vaccine. Stitt would later fire the head of the Oklahoma National Guard because he’d actually advocated that the Guard be required to take the vaccination.
Stitt has also reorganized the Oklahoma Supreme Court as well as the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals. The districts are now redrawn to be the same as the state’s Congressional district.