The Tulsa World asked each candidate running for governor in the primary election a set of questions.
This is the first question in our series. Read all the questions and answers at the Tulsa World’s home for all of its election coverage: tulsaworld.com/election2018.
The question: What is your opinion of President Donald Trump?
Chris Barnett: The people of the USA spoke loud and clear and elected President Trump. I support our president 100 percent. I think he is doing a great job. He isn’t a career politician, and neither am I. He’s going to make mistakes, which I think voters prefer to see because that shows that he is human. If elected, I know I’ll make mistakes; however, I’m not afraid to admit or own up to mistakes when made.
Mick Cornett: President Trump has been good for Oklahoma, and he’s been good for taxpayers. Having met with him a few times talking about issues ranging from city governments to infrastructure to serving on a working task force, I can attest he is an easy partner to work with, and he seeks input from those who are already doing something really well. Any time a governor can have a working relationship with a president, I think it will be beneficial, and I believe my relationship with President Trump and his White House Cabinet and staff would be a benefit to our state.
Dan Fisher: Although I had doubts about Mr. Trump in the beginning of his campaign, since he took office I have been extremely pleased with his performance. I believe he truly loves America and definitely wants to “put America first.” To this point, he has fulfilled numerous campaign commitments and appears to be on track to do exactly what he campaigned on. Even though many in the media seem bent on attacking him at every turn, he is pushing on and accomplishing more than any president in my lifetime.
Barry Gowdy: I don’t have an opinion on the president. He is doing what he thinks is best. As president of the USA, I respect him. I don’t have to agree with his policies, but I will respect them.
Gary Jones: I like many things President Trump has accomplished and think that he has his own way of getting things done. I stand ready to work with him to move Oklahoma forward.
Todd Lamb: I believe President Trump is doing a great job, and I support him. I was honored to have a Trump family member — Donald Trump Jr. — visit Oklahoma recently in support of my campaign. I will work with President Trump in any manner I can to advance Oklahoma and America, and stand at the ready to bring manufacturing jobs to Oklahoma as companies return to America following the recent tax reforms.
Gary Richardson: I publicly supported and endorsed Donald Trump from the early days of his primary campaign. He has an unorthodox style, I disagree with him on several issues, but I have never questioned his heart for this country. We elected him to transform the office of president, and that is what he is doing — to great success. Unemployment has not been this low since 9/11, the Dow hit record highs 70 times last year, and he is now brokering a peace with North Korea that none of his predecessors seemed able to do. If that’s not success, I don’t know what is.
Blake Cowboy Stevens: I am amazed at how he is turning this country around in such a short period of time. President Trump has restored faith in the American people. He is leading and governing like our forefathers. He has led us into a brighter tomorrow against all odds. In spite of all the distractions, he still leads our country in a positive direction. Unemployment is lower than it has been in 18 years. I support our president and wish all Americans would do the same. We would be so much stronger if we stood united, one with another.
Kevin Stitt: I voted for President Trump. I support what he has done to reinvigorate America’s economy and increase our competition in the global marketplace. Due to Trump’s tax cuts, we are seeing wage growth, repatriation of company dollars and job creation nationwide. As governor, I am committed to drawing this momentum in to Oklahoma to diversify our economy and build our middle-class.
Drew Edmondson: As with most presidents, I disagree with some things President Trump has done and agree with others. I don’t consider him a role model, but I do look forward to doing all that I can to benefit the people of Oklahoma by working with the President and Congress. It will be important for me as governor for members of my administration to have close working relationships with federal agencies important to Oklahoma, especially FEMA.
Connie Johnson: My and President Trump’s academic preparation and training at the same Ivy League institution represents a common experiential point from which to begin a conversation about the Oklahoma experience, when the opportunity ultimately presents itself. Located in the heart of west Philadelphia, a predominantly African-American section of town, the University of Pennsylvania offered a first class education — both in and outside its hallowed walls. I believe President Trump’s and my shared experience offer a unique opportunity around which to discuss goals and visions for Oklahoma with him firsthand, especially the business opportunities surrounding the industrial hemp industry.
Rex Lawhorn: President Trump has introduced a mixed bag of reforms that will likely improve short-term economic stability but will have the same effect of government influence that all other presidents have had over the long-term, and that is upheaval in the markets and wild swings in individual sectors. We’re already seeing it in metals and foreign trade, but it will quickly spread to many other sectors. The best thing he could do is let the millions of Americans loose to spread their ingenuity throughout the economy. Historically, that is what has achieved the most advancement for all Americans, not governmental regulation.
Joe “Exotic” Maldonado: He’s not a bad man. If they would leave him alone, he might get something done.
Chris Powell: My view of the president, regardless of who is occupying the office at any given time, is that the governor needs to maintain a cordial and cooperative relationship up to the point where cooperation would require relinquishing power and authority to the federal government, a situation where it is imperative that the governor stand up to defend state, county and municipal entities and the people themselves from federal overreach. As governor, I will seek to protect the rights of Oklahomans, not pursue a political agenda to either favor or oppose the nation’s chief executive.