OKLAHOMA CITY — Saying that “Oklahoma is in desperate need of a governor who will obey the law, set high ethical standards and do things by the book,” Joel Kintsel announced Thursday that he is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.
Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, is seeking a second term.
Kintsel, who is executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, said in a news release that “the Stitt administration is rife with corruption, self-dealing and cronyism, and Oklahomans deserve another choice.”
Kintsel also is a lieutenant colonel in the Oklahoma Air National Guard and staff judge advocate of the 137th Special Operations Wing at Will Rogers Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma City.
He served as parliamentarian for 14 years under seven Oklahoma House speakers.
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He grew up in Oilton and graduated from Cimarron Christian Academy there. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma.
“If elected, my first priority will be to clean up the corruption and mismanagement left behind by the Stitt administration,” Kintsel said.
“We cannot allow Stitt and his buddies to continue enriching themselves at the taxpayers’ expense. Let’s stand together and set things right for Oklahoma. Let’s create a future where all Oklahomans have the opportunity to succeed and thrive.”
Stitt’s campaign was asked for a response and said it did not have one at this time.
Whether Kintsel would remain head of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs or take a leave of absence to run for the post was not immediately clear.