Jones boasts of visits to all 77 counties, secures Coburn’s help

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 29-Oct-2010

U.S. Tom Coburn of Muskogee has endorsed fellow Republican Gary Jones in the race for Oklahoma Auditor & Inspector.

In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Coburn said: “Gary Jones is the watchdog Oklahoma voters need as our next State Auditor and Inspector.  When it comes to exposing fraud and corruption in state government, Gary has proven himself to be up to the task.

“Gary Jones understands that just as important as exposing corruption, we must also address the issues of waste, duplication and inefficiencies in our state.  Oklahoma citizens work too hard to see their tax dollars wasted.
Gary knows that we must make tough decisions today if we expect to give our children and grandchildren the same opportunities we were given by our parents and grandparents.”

Jones said, “I am very grateful and proud that Senator Coburn has endorsed my campaign for State Auditor and Inspector. It’s very meaningful because Coburn is known as a fierce watchdog for all Oklahomans and the citizens across the United States. The Senator’s endorsement will bring in a lot of voters to my sincere effort to restore faith and trust to an office that has been mismanaged and out of sync for years.”

In other news from the Jones campaign, as of last weekend Jones had fulfilled his objective of reaching all 77 counties before election day.

In early October, Jones had set a goal of visiting every county courthouse before the November 2nd election. Craig County in Vinita was the first visited. Several days ago, Roger Mills County in Cheyenne became the seventy-seventh (77th).

“People across our state know the Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector is one of the most important elected offices in our state,” said Jones. “I believe it is critical that we have an Auditor that is trustworthy and honest. Nowhere is it more important to have that trust than in the rural parts of our state, especially our county courthouses.”

Jones declared: “I’m running because as a citizen of our great state I have uncovered more fraud and corruption in state government than the last three Auditors combined,” he said. “If there is waste or corruption, taxpayers lose.”

Jones says he is garnering support from county officials in all 77 county courthouses. “I have support from sheriffs, county clerks, court clerks, treasurers, assessors, district attorneys, and county commissioners. No one works closer with the auditor’s office than county officials. Those that know the most about the State Auditor are overwhelmingly supporting me. I am proud to have their support,” said Jones.

With the completed circuit of the state, Jones reflected: “I have traveled every corner of Oklahoma, from Boise City in the Panhandle to Idabel in far Southeastern Oklahoma, from Miami in Ottawa County to Hollis in Harmon County, and all points in between. I have been listening to citizens and those individuals elected to serve their communities. County officials are concerned that it has been as long 4 or even 5 years since their county has been audited. They don’t feel that they are getting their questions answered and they aren’t getting the support they need to get their jobs done.

“While virtually all county officials have praised the help they receive from the field and support staff of the auditor’s office, they don’t hesitate to point out a problem exist in room 100 at the state capitol, the Auditor and his senior staff.”

Jones, making his third run for the post after two narrow losses to former Auditor Jeff McMahan – who is now in prison — said, “I’m running because no one will outwork me and no one will be more responsible to taxpayers of Oklahoma.”

Jones has drawn support from not only fellow Republicans, but also from activists in Broken Arrow and other communities concerned over lengthy delays in school audits during Auditor & Inspector Steve Burrage’s tenure.