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Oklahoma County Sheriff Candidate Talks Plans For New Jail

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Election day is now one week away. There are several issues on the ballot and one of those includes the Oklahoma County Sheriff.

Only on 9, Justin Dougherty sat down with Sheriff Candidate Mike Christian on his just released plans for a new jail.

While both candidates for Oklahoma County Sheriff disagree on several topics, the need for a new jail is a bipartisan issue.

Current Sheriff John Whetsel has been pushing for a new jail for years due to its declining condition. A sales tax has been widely discussed to pay for a new jail.

But Christian has now released his plan if elected, and his focal point: No sales tax. Instead, he calls for a lease-purchase agreement.

"I've dealt with the budget in the oklahoma legislature and we can do this and not raise taxes and we've got a solution. But it takes someone to have the will and courage to go out and do it."

Christian clarifies that the new facility could be built with private dollars, but then be leased back to the county. He also says he's found around $16-million of waste in the sheriff's budget that he would use to make the lease payments on the jail. That also includes selling what he feels are unnecessary assets.

Christian's plan estimates the new jail would cost around $200-million and take 20 years to pay off. As for a location, Christian isn't sure where he would put the jail. But he does want it outside of downtown Oklahoma City.

News 9 has reached out to Whetsel's campaign for an interview, and he has declined to comment.

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