|A.K.A.||John Kevin Stitt, John Stitt, Governor John Kevin Stitt, Governor John...|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||28 December 1972, Milton, Santa Rosa County, Florida, USA|
John Kevin Stitt (born December 28, 1972) is an American businessman and politician serving as the 28th governor of Oklahoma since January 2019. He founded and is a former chairman and CEO of Gateway Mortgage Group. A Republican, he was elected governor in 2018. Stitt grew up in Norman, Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in accounting. He and his wife, Sarah, have six children. A member of the Cherokee Nation, Stitt is the second Native American to serve as governor of Oklahoma, after Johnston Murray.
Stitt was born in Milton, Florida, and spent early years in Wayne, Oklahoma. He later moved to Norman, where his father was the pastor of Riverside Church. He graduated from Norman High School and from Oklahoma State University with a degree in accounting. Stitt helped pay his way through college by selling educational products door-to-door with Southwestern Advantage. He was the first person in the company’s 115-year history to achieve the top sales as a first-year salesperson. Stitt is a member of the Gamma Lambda chapter of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
Financial services career
Stitt worked in the financial services sector before starting Gateway in 2000. He founded the company and was president and CEO until January 2014, when he became chairman-CEO. Stitt has said he started Gateway in 2000 with "$1,000 and a computer." His first obstacle was to get approved as a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lender, for which the company needed a net worth of $50,000. To achieve that, Stitt put forward the equity in his home. In 2002, Gateway secured its first warehouse line, began obtaining licensing in states other than Oklahoma, and started recruiting loan officers. By 2006, it had over 400 employees.
In August 2018, Stitt stepped down as CEO and handed the reins to Stephen Curry, while remaining chairman. Gateway is a midsized company based in Jenks, Oklahoma. It employs more than 1,200 people and originates mortgages in 41 states.
Gateway's legal issues
In 2009, Gateway was listed in a Business Insider article as one of the 15 shadiest lenders in the government-backed mortgage industry. According to the article, the company originated nearly twice as many bad mortgages as its competitors. An August 19, 2018, Oklahoman newspaper article highlighted the Business Insider article's inaccuracies, reporting that "in the Illinois case, a consent order states that the Illinois banking agency investigated a Gateway loan originator for an 'alleged real estate, appraisal, and mortgage fraud scheme.' Gateway fired the employee, asked for a hearing and then agreed to what investigators found. Gateway agreed to a $10,000 fine. ... Stitt campaign spokeswoman Donelle Harder said the license in Illinois was never revoked. The state agreed after the appeal not to revoke the license, she said."
NEWS9 also said that according to Georgia's Department of Banking and Finance, Stitt was banned for five years and the company was banned for life from origination mortgages in Georgia. According to the Oklahoman, a Gateway corporate attorney said there were misrepresentations and insufficient background checks by employees in the Georgia office but Stitt was not involved. The employees were fired and Gateway paid a $2,000 fine. The state overturned the lifetime ban on Gateway, effective November 2017. Gateway is able to do business in all 50 states.
During Stitt's gubernatorial campaign, Oklahoma Watch reported that Wisconsin regulators fined Gateway for a "clerical error" regarding its history with regulators from other states. Gateway corrected the application and was issued a license in 2009. It remains in good standing in Wisconsin.
2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign
In July 2017, Stitt announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for governor in 2018. Facing nine other candidates in the primary election, he ran a statewide campaign with stops in nearly every city and town. He finished second, defeating, among others, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb. In the August 28 primary runoff, Stitt defeated Mick Cornett, a former mayor of Oklahoma City. In the November general election, Stitt defeated the Democratic nominee, former Attorney General Drew Edmondson, and Libertarian Chris Powell .
In the GOP runoff, a trio of conservative leaders, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and former U.S. Senators Rick Santorum and Tom Coburn, endorsed Stitt. In the general election, Stitt was endorsed by former primary rival Mick Cornett, the incumbent governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, and President Donald Trump. The Oklahoman reported that the Stitt campaign rejected Fallin's endorsement: "'We did not seek [Fallin's endorsement], and Kevin Stitt has run on a campaign message that he will do things a lot differently,' said Donelle Harder, spokeswoman for the Stitt campaign. 'He is focused on changing the structure of state government and cleaning up the mess we are currently in at the Capitol.'"
During his campaign, Stitt called himself "the only job creator with proven business experience" running for governor and emphasized his business background. He called on the state to become "top 10 in job growth, top 10 in education and top 10 in infrastructure."
During the general election, the close race drew increased attention from national media and political figures. Vice President Mike Pence campaigned for Stitt.
Governor of Oklahoma
After the election, transition activities began as Stitt prepared to assume office.
A spokesperson for the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services announced that Stitt would occupy temporary office space in the Capitol, which was under renovation, and not occupy the Governor's Office until early 2020 due to the restoration project. Stitt also announced that he would not immediately move his family into the Oklahoma Governor's Mansion in Oklahoma City, instead remaining in Jenks until summer 2019 to allow his daughter to graduate from high school.
Stitt was inaugurated on January 14, 2019, at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Chief Justice of Oklahoma Noma Gurich swore him and Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell into office. Stitt then gave a 15-minute inaugural address.
Before taking office, Stitt nominated former state Representative Michael Rogers as his Secretary of State and Tulsa Deputy Mayor Michael Junk (a former advisor to U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn) as his chief of staff. He nominated Kenneth Wagner (a former senior advisor to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt) to serve as Secretary of Energy and Environment and Blayne Arthur (a former deputy secretary for the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry) as Secretary of Agriculture. Stitt retained several Fallin administration officials, including Major General Michael C. Thompson as Adjutant General and Rusty Rhoades as Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. In December 2018, Stitt announced that he would restructure the cabinet, eliminating the Secretary of Finance position and replacing it with three new positions splitting the former duties of the office: a Secretary of Budget, a Secretary of Agency Accountability, and a Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration. Stitt nominated former longtime State Senator Mike Mazzei as Budget Secretary.
In January 2019, Stitt nominated Tulsa banker Sean Kouplen as Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development, executive director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Tim Gatz as Secretary of Transportation, and David Ostrowe as Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration. He appointed Pinnell as his Secretary of Tourism and Branding, overseeing the Department of Tourism and Recreation, and as senior advisor for the Commerce Department overseeing investment into Oklahoma's federally approved opportunity zones. Stitt also named former Oklahoma State Representative Lisa Johnson Billy, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, to the new position of Secretary of Native American Affairs, serving as the liaison between the Stitt administration and Oklahoma's 38 federally recognized Indian tribes. He chose John Budd, a former Boston Consulting Group partner and corporate executive at Sonic Drive-In, to serve as the Oklahoma's first Chief Operating Officer.
In February 2019, Stitt appointed former Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Chip Keating, the son of former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, as his Oklahoma Secretary of Public Safety. Stitt retained Fallin's Director of the Office of Juvenile Affairs, Steven Buck, as his Secretary of Human Services and Early Childhood Development. Brian Brurud, a former United States Navy fighter pilot, was named Secretary of Veterans Affairs, but in March 2019 Brurud faced an accusation of violating federal labor law by underpaying veterans at his company and withdrew his name from consideration. In April 2019 Stitt picked former United States Air Force Brigadier General Ben Robinson for the post. He appointed energy executive Jerome Loughridge as Secretary of Health and Mental Health and Kayse Shrum, president of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, as Secretary of Science and Technology in March 2019.
On December 23, 2019, citing disagreements with Stitt over his handling of negotiations with the state's various Indian tribes about gambling compacts, Billy became the first member of the Stitt's cabinet to resign. A member of the Chickasaw Nation and former Republican state representative, Billy viewed Stitt's negotiation position as one of "unnecessary conflict."
On February 13, 2020, Buck announced his intention to step down from his position in order to become the head of trade association representing long-term care health providers. Buck, who served concurrently as executive director of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, first became OJA head in 2016 after service at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services before Fallin promoted him to her cabinet in 2017.
Cabinet confirmation process
|Position||Name||Announcement||Senate Committee||Full Senate
|Secretary of State||Mike Rogers||November 27, 2018||General Government||April 23, 2019||44-0-4|||
|Secretary of Education||January 24, 2019|||
|Secretary of Energy and Environment||Kenneth E. Wagner||November 28, 2018||Energy||May 1, 2019||41-0-7|||
|Secretary of Agriculture||Blayne Arthur||December 13, 2018||Agriculture and Wildlife||February 26, 2019||43-0-5|||
|Adjutant General||Michael C. Thompson||December 14, 2018||Veterans Affairs and Military||May 13, 2019||45-1-2|||
|Secretary of the Budget||Mike Mazzei||December 20, 2018||Appropriations||May 15, 2019||47-1-0|||
|Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development||Sean P. Kouplen||January 3, 2019||Business, Commerce, and Tourism||April 16, 2019||43-0-5|||
|Secretary of Agency Accountability||John Budd||January 7, 2019||General Government||April 23, 2019||44-0-4|||
|Secretary of Tourism and Branding||Matt Pinnell||January 17, 2019||Business, Commerce, and Tourism||April 23, 2019||46-0-2|||
|Secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration||David Ostrowe||January 18, 2019||General Government||April 23, 2019||44-0-4|||
|Secretary of Transportation||Tim Gatz||January 18, 2019||Transportation||April 23, 2019||45-0-3|||
|Secretary of Native American Affairs||Lisa Johnson Billy||January 30, 2019||General Government||April 23, 2019||44-0-4|||
|Secretary of Human Services||Steven Buck||February 14, 2019||Health and Human Services||May 8, 2019||46-0-2|||
|Secretary of Public Safety||Chip Keating||February 21, 2019||Public Safety||April 24, 2019||42-0-6|||
|Secretary of Veterans Affairs||Brian Brurud||February 21, 2019||Nomination withdrawn March 18, 2019|||
|Ben Robinson||April 15, 2019||Veterans Affairs and Military||May 13, 2019||46-0-2|||
|Secretary of Science and Innovation||Kayse Shrum||March 14, 2019||Education||May 2, 2019||44-0-4|||
|Secretary of Health||Jerome Loughridge||March 14, 2019||Health and Human Services||May 8, 2019||47-0-1|||
|Office||Agency||Name||Announcement||Senate Committee||Full Senate
|Commissioner||Department of Agriculture||Blayne Arthur||December 13, 2018||Agriculture and Wildlife||February 26, 2019||43-0-5|||
|Director||Department of Commerce||Brent Kisling||January 3, 2019||Business, Commerce, and Tourism||April 16, 2019||43-0-5|||
|Director||Office of Management and Enterprise Services||John Budd||January 7, 2019||General Government||April 23, 2019||46-0-2|||
|Steven Harpe||January 23, 2020||Senate confirmation pending|||
|Commissioner||Department of Health||Tom Bates||January 14, 2019||Interim basis|||
|Gary Cox||September 12, 2019||Senate confirmation pending|||
|State Chief Information Officer||Office of Management and Enterprise Services||Bo Reese||January 14, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|||
|Donald Moore||February 13, 2020||Senate confirmation not required|||
|Executive Director||Department of Veteran Affairs||Doug Elliot||January 14, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|
|Joel Kintsel||September 6, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|||
|Executive Director||Turnpike Authority||Tim Gatz||January 14, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|
|Commissioner||Department of Mental Health||Terri White||January 14, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|
|Carrie Slatton-Hodges||February 1, 2020||Interim basis|
|Director of Homeland Security||Department of Public Safety||Kim E. Carter||January 15, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|||
|Director||Department of Emergency Management||Mark Gower||January 29, 2019||Public Safety||April 24, 2019||42-0-6|||
|Commissioner||Department of Public Safety||Rusty Rhoades||February 22, 2019||Public Safety||April 24, 2019||42-0-6|||
|John Scully||September 2, 2019||Senate confirmation pending|||
|Director||Department of Tourism and Recreation||Jerry Winchester||April 2, 2019||Business, Commerce, and Tourism||May 7, 2019||45-0-3|||
|Director||Department of Transportation||Tim Gatz||May 1, 2019||Transportation||May 13, 2019||48-0-0|||
|Director||Office of Juvenile Affairs||Steven Buck||May 1, 2019||Health and Human Services||May 15, 2019||47-0-1|||
|Director||Department of Human Services||Justin Brown||June 4, 2019||Senate confirmation pending|||
|Deputy Secretary of Public Safety||Department of Corrections||Tricia Everest||June 13, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|||
|Director||Department of Corrections||Scott Crow||June 14, 2019||Senate confirmation pending|||
|Deputy Secretary of Health||Health Care Authority||Carter Kimble||June 21, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|||
|Secretary||General Land Office||A. Brandt Vawter||July 8, 2019||Interim basis|||
|Director||Health Care Authority||Kevin Corbett||August 5, 2019||Senate confirmation pending|||
|Director of Workforce Development||Department of Commerce||Don Morris||August 12, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|||
|Commissioner||State Banking Department||Mick Thompson||December 10, 2019||Senate confirmation pending|||
|Chief of the Highway Patrol||Department of Public Safety||Michael Harrell||January 14, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|
|Brent Sugg||September 11, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|||
|Director||State Bureau of Investigastion||Ricky G. Adams||January 14, 2019||Senate confirmation not required|
Budget and spending
Stitt and the legislature approved the 2020 Oklahoma state budget in May 2019. After years of cuts under the Fallin administration, the budget provided for 5% in additional spending among state agencies over 2019 levels without increasing taxes. Particular areas of increased spending include a teacher pay raise of $1,220, a state employee pay raise of $1,400, authorization of two new trooper academies for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to hire 80 additional state troopers, a 14% pay raise for correctional officers with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, the largest investment in the state's Quick Action Closing Fund for job recruitment in state history, increased spending for Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and increased provider rates for physicians, hospitals, and nursing homes from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. In addition to the increased spending, Stitt demanded depositing $200 million into the state's reverse fund, increasing its balance to $1 billion.
Oklahoma has a long history with capital punishment, having conducted the third-most executions since the death penalty was reinstated in Gregg v. Georgia (1976). But in 2015, a moratorium was placed on all state executions following the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April 2014 and the execution of Charles Warner by unauthorized methods in January 2015. A state criminal grand jury concluded in 2016 that state corrections officials failed to follow the law in Warner's execution and should have exercised greater caution given the backdrop of Lockett's execution. In 2018, Oklahoma Attorney General Michael J. Hunter announced the state would seek to use inert gas asphyxiation by nitrogen for execution if suitable drugs for lethal injection were not found once the moratorium was lifted.
On February 13, 2020, Stitt, Hunter and Corrections Director Scott Crow announced that the moratorium would be lifted. Citing a reliable source of necessary drugs, Oklahoma would again use lethal injection as its primary means of execution. Hunter announced that executions would be scheduled for Oklahoma's 48 death row inmates following the exhaustion of their appeal rights.
In July of 2020, Stitt made a personal choice of randomly executing capital punishment on his constituents. Stitt, having already tested positive for the SARS-2 Covid-19 virus decided it just wasn't that bad. 135,000 dead Americans wasn't enough to stop him from shopping at Walmart without any personal protection.
Criminal justice reform
Beginning with the adoption of State Question 780 by Oklahoma voters in 2016, advocates for criminal justice reform sought additional measures. SQ780, which changed the classification of simple drug possession crimes from felony to misdemeanor and increased the cap for property crimes to be considered felonies, had already reduced the rate of felony prosecution statewide by 26% by 2018. In May 2019, Stitt proposed several ideas, including making SQ780's sentencing standards retroactive, prohibiting criminal records from being considered for professional licensing, and restructuring the funding scheme for the various district attorney offices. The legislature made SQ780 retroactive by allowing parole for those convicted before SQ780 became effective and reforming professional licensing, but did not approve bills to reform Oklahoma's cash bail system. In response to legislative defeats, Stitt issued an executive order to form a study group to make recommendations for future criminal justice reform for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, with particular emphasis on reducing Oklahoma’s incarceration rate.
In mid-2018, Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788, which legalized the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana for medical purposes. As a candidate, Stitt cited a need to implement the results of the election by enacting a comprehensive regulatory scheme. After months of negotiation with legislative leaders, Stitt signed HB2612, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act. Also known as the "Marijuana Unity Bill", HB2612 provided an extensive medical marijuana framework, including licensing requirements and rights for patients.
In his first state of the state address, Stitt called for increased appointment power over major state agencies. The legislature granted his request by adopting five new laws, giving him direct control over the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. These agencies were previously under the control of multi-member boards or commissions that acted independently of the governor.
In exchange for additional appointment powers and at legislative leaders' request, Stitt signed into law SB1, which established the Oklahoma Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency in the legislative branch. Under the direction of an oversight committee composed of members of the State Senate and House of Representatives, the office will provide auditing, evaluation, and investigative services for the legislature relating to the governor's proposed budget and expenditures by the executive branch.
The first law Stitt signed after taking office was HB2597, colloquially called "Constitutional Carry". Effective November 1, 2019, the law permitted anyone 21 or older, or 18 if a member or veteran of the United States Armed Forces, to carry a firearm without obtaining a permit or completing training. The firearm may be concealed or unconcealed, loaded or unloaded. Stitt also signed HB2010, which expands the places a firearm may be carried to include municipal zoos and parks, regardless of size, as long as it is concealed.
In 2010, the federal government adopted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under pre-ACA levels, Oklahoma covered non-disabled adults without children with incomes at or below approximately 37% of the federal poverty level (FPL). The ACA mandated that Oklahoma expand its Medicaid program, known as SoonerCare and administered by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, to cover nearly all adults earning up to 138% of the FPL. But in 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled in NFIB v. Sebelius that the mandate was unconstitutional, allowing Oklahoma to continue at its pre-ACA eligibility levels. Following the decision, Governor Fallin rejected the option to expand. After taking office, Stitt continued Oklahoma's opposition to expansion. His refusal to expand the program resulted in the filing of an citizens' initiative petition, State Question 802, to enact the expansion into the state constitution notwithstanding Stitt's opposition.
In response to the petition, in January 2020 Stitt unveiled his own proposal to expand the program, "SoonerCare 2.0". With the Trump Administration's blessing, Stitt's proposal would transform the Medicaid program from a formula grant to a block grant. Key elements of Stitt's plan include introducing work-related requirements for recipients, requiring them to pay some form of monthly premiums, and transition from a fee-for-service model to a managed-care model.
Stitt signed legislation reorganizing the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals. Prior to the reforms, Supreme Court justices were appointed from nine separate districts representing various collections of counties. Under the legislation, as of 2020 the Court's nine judicial districts were redrawn such that five were made coequal with the state's five congressional districts and the other four are at large with the state as whole. Similarly, the five judicial districts used to appoint judges to the Court of Criminal Appeals were made coequal with the congressional districts. The legislation left the method for appointing appellate judges via the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission unchanged. The reform's ostensible purpose was to increase the pool of applicants to the appellate courts.
Under the authority of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, in 2004 Oklahoma voters approved State Question 712, which adopted the Oklahoma State-Tribal Gaming Act. Under the Act, the State of Oklahoma offers each federally recognized Indian tribe the right to conduct commercial gambling within its territory upon accepting the terms of a uniform state-tribal gaming compact. The compact allowed the compacting tribes to conduct gaming in return for "exclusivity fees" to the state treasury averaging 6% of gaming revenues. The compact was scheduled to expire on January 1, 2020.
In a July 2019 op-ed in the Tulsa World followed by a letter to the chiefs of 35 Oklahoma tribes, Stitt called on tribal leaders to renegotiate the terms of the compact before its expiration date. In particular, he called for increasing the exclusivity fees to between 13% and 25%. Stitt's office maintains the compact is not subject to automatic renewal, a claim the tribes reject, believing it will continue indefinitely unless changes are mutually agreed upon. In either event, the Oklahoma Legislature would presumably have to be involved in any renegotiation, since the state's compact offer is defined and controlled by state statute, and federal law requires any new or altered compact terms to be approved by the United States Department of the Interior.
In August 2019, the various tribes refused to meet with Stitt to negotiate the amount of the exclusivity fees until he conceded that the compact would otherwise automatically renew. Stitt had proposed a September 3 date to begin discussions but the tribes rejected it.
At the end of December 2019, the Choctaw, Cherokee, and Chickasaw tribes filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma to end the dispute over the compact. On December 31, Stitt signed an extension to the hunting and fishing license compact with the Choctaw Nation, a previous point of contention.
Stitt received a 100% score from the pro-life advocacy group Oklahomans for Life.
During his campaign for governor, Stitt said that he would defend Oklahomans' constitutional right to bear arms, writing: "I don't believe in punishing law-abiding gun owners for the atrocious and illegal actions of an individual.
Response to coronavirus outbreak
In March 2020, Stitt went out to restaurants amid the coronavirus pandemic and posted a photo on Twitter of him doing so with his two children. He later deleted the tweet, and his spokesperson said, "the governor will continue to take his family out to dinner and to the grocery store without living in fear and encourages Oklahomans to do the same." President Trump said he did not advocate going out to eat but did not criticize Stitt. In the tweet, Stitt wrote, "Eating with my kids and all my fellow Oklahomans ... It's packed tonight!" The photograph he posted with his kids showed them smiling while surrounded by restaurant patrons. On July 15, Stitt announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
The governor of Oklahoma is responsible for making appointments to Oklahoma state courts upon a vacancy. Candidates for appointment are reviewed by the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission, which forwards three names to the governor. The governor appoints one of the three without further confirmation.
|#||Judge||Position||Court||District||Former Judge||Appointment date||End of service||Successor Judge||Ref.|
|1||M. John Kane IV||Justice||Supreme Court||1st||John F. Reif||September 17, 2019||Incumbent||Incumbent|||
|2||Dustin Rowe||Justice||Supreme Court||2nd||Patrick Wyrick||November 18, 2019||Incumbent||Incumbent|||
|3||TBD||Judge||Civil Appeals||1st||Jerry L. Goodman||TBD|
|4||TBD||Judge||Civil Appeals||4st||Larry Joplin||TBD|
|#||Judge||Position||County||District||Former Judge||Appointment date||End of service||Successor Judge||Ref.|
|1||Christine Larson||Associate District Judge||Cimarron||1st||Ronald L. Kincannon||March 8, 2019||Incumbent||Incumbent|||
|2||Timothy King||District Judge||Muskogee||15th||Mike Norman||November 4, 2019||Incumbent||Incumbent|||
|3||Laura Farris||Associate District Judge||Creek||24th||Mark Ihrig||January 17, 2020||Incumbent||Incumbent|||
|4||TBD||District Judge||Oklahoma||7th||Lisa Davis||TBD|
|5||TBD||Associate District Judge||Woodward||4th||Don Work||TBD|
|6||TBD||Judge||Workers Compensation Court||N/A||TBD|
|7||TBD||District Judge||Osage||10th||M. John Kane IV||TBD|
Stitt is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation as a descendant of his great-grandfather, Robert Benton Dawson. Dawson was given land in the Skiatook area because of his tribal citizenship, and the land is still in the family, now owned by an uncle of Stitt's. Stitt's maternal grandparents were dairy farmers in Skiatook. His paternal grandfather was the head veterinarian at the Oklahoma City Stockyards.
Stitt married Sarah Hazen in 1998 and they have six children. The Stitts are active in their church in Tulsa, Woodlake Church.