April 21 at the Tulsa County Republican Women’s Club Candidate Forum, I passed the various tables talking to candidates when Tulsa County Commissioner District 3 Candidate Bob Jack caught my eye.
I greeted, “Hello Bobby, are you still the authoritarian I remember?”
Jack said, “Yes, yes I am.”
“Well, that’s not going to work,” I replied.
“I’m going to win,” Jack declared. I disagreed with him directly at the time and here is why.
Primary elections approaching June 28, are critical. The Tulsa County Commission contest for District 3 features Republicans; Margie Alfonso, Kelly Dunkerley and Bob Jack. County Commissioner is an important office requiring attention to detail and the ability work with others – not autocratic as in a mayoral or governor seat, but cooperative in daily operation. The three commissioners can only meet in public as any two together privately would violate Oklahoma’s Open Meeting Act.
As a former campaign manager long active in the Oklahoma Republican Party; I’ve served on Platform, Rules, and Executive Committees over the years. For two years I was the Communications Chairman for the Tulsa County Republican Party. The good news is that only a fraction of one percent of voters are engaged in party activities – the bad news is such a small group allows bullies, cads, and hucksters to flourish.
County commissions are comprised of three districts divided geographically. Commissioners must work with staff to solve issues, pay bills, set policies, maintain budgets, and together keep county services and facilities including the courthouse, roads, bridges, levees, parks, juvenile courts, and other public services operating. Authoritarian personalities don’t function well in that environment – they make headlines often but accomplish little.
Jack was Treasurer for the County Party while I was Communications Chairman and then he was elected as Chairman. Unfortunately, Jack’s arrogance is only surpassed by the number of his failures. Prior to entering party leadership, Jack campaigned in 2016 for State Senate District 25 and finished fourth out of five candidates in the primary.
In an interview with the Tulsa Beacon January 20, 2022 Jack said, “We always say we need to run government like a business, but we rarely send a businessperson to do the job,” said Jack. “I’ve run prosperous businesses and managed organizations for more than 50 years with steadfast integrity. It’s what I do best.”
The Republican County Convention March 7, 2020, at Tulsa Community College’s Southeast Campus Preforming Arts Center, that elected him chairman, Jack arranged as finance chairman – he failed to pay for that event for five months (until late August 2020).
When politely reminded by the facility, Jack blamed the failure to promptly pay on another. It is what Jack does best – off responsibility while taking glory. This is not what is needed in a County Commissioner. Imagine how a five month delay in payment processing would impact Tulsa County.
This campaign cycle, I am not engaged professionally for any candidate. I am a Republican Precinct Chairman – the smallest (neighborhood) elected party role and thus free to write about all races.
Tulsa Today is hyper-regional, and this is a critical election cycle. The heart of the nation is deeply troubled. While Oklahoma is a Conservative state, we’ve been dominated by Democrats for a hundred years (since 1907) and the City of Tulsa is still, in majority, Democrat and embarrassingly Liberal in Tulsa Today’s humble opinion. We are established as a First Amendment platform and welcome submissions. We are increasing our coverage and analysis because there is no other open local media platform available to all sides. Should be fun.