Gary Jones announces for governor

State Auditor Gary Jones Wednesday officially kicked off his bid for the state’s highest office in Tulsa promising to be a Governor for all Oklahomans.

“It’s time to reinvent state government so that it is accountable to the people of our great state,” Jones said. “Oklahomans are tired of the political games and want state government to fund core services in an effective and efficient manner. They want elected officials to be responsive to the citizens and not beholden to lobbyists.”

A Jones administration will put Oklahomans first – well ahead of the powerbrokers. He has a reputation of being a strong public servant working hard for all constituents.

“We need to reform our budget process and our system of ethics,” Jones said. “We’ve made it so that high rollers have an even bigger piece of the pie by allowing even larger donations to dark money groups. The people should hold the purse strings, not the deep pocket activists who wine and dine our legislators.”

Jones promises to find solutions to Oklahoma’s short-term money woes and develop a long-range strategy to make our state prosperous.

“I’m not someone who is going to kick the can down the road,” Jones said. I’m not afraid of hard work and I won’t turn away from problems or look for an easy fix. Our problems won’t be addressed by leaving things to the next generation to figure out.

“I lead by example,” Jones said. “The annual pattern of crisis budgeting meant we had to do some serious work in the State Auditor’s Office to ensure we could sustain budget cuts year after year after year. We did what was necessary by eliminating most administrative positions, reducing travel, and purchasing software that improved both our work product and efficiencies.

“Today, we have 20 fewer employees than when I took office and we’re doing a better job identifying waste, fraud, and abuse than ever before,” Jones said. “We need to do that across state government so we can fund education, public safety, and infrastructure improvements.”

Jones has been calling for performance audits of state agencies for seven years but it took recent scandals for those calls to be echoed by a majority of legislators.

“I know how to fix the problems in our state because I know how to identify them and find cost-effective solutions to right the ship,” Jones said. “If you want more of what we’ve had, there are plenty of other candidates to consider. If you want someone who will tell you like it is and restore honesty and integrity to public office, then I have the proven skills of hard work, determination, and leadership to get things done.”

Jones was born in Ft. Sill, the son of a career Army Master Sargent, and grew up in Southwest Oklahoma. Along with his wife Mary Jane, a retired school teacher, they operate a cow/calf operation begun almost four decades ago. They have two children and three grandchildren.

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