OKLAHOMA CITY — A Tulsa businessman is the latest candidate to jump into the race for the Republican nomination for Oklahoma governor in 2018.

Kevin Stitt has scheduled news conferences on Monday in Jenks, Edmond and Lawton to formally announce his candidacy. The 44-year-old father of six is the chief operating officer of Gateway Mortgage Group, a company he founded in 2000 and has grown to more than 1,000 employees.

A native of Norman, Stitt says he hopes to apply the same principles he used to grow his business as chief executive of the state.

Stitt joins a crowded field seeking the post that will be left open because Republican Gov. Mary Fallin is term-limited. Stitt is the sixth Republican to announce their candidacy. Three Libertarians and four Democrats also plan to run.

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