State Auditor Eyes Possible Gubernatorial Run

Monday, March 27th 2017, 6:58 pm

State Auditor Gary Jones is eyeing a possible run for governor, he told News 9 in an exclusive sit-down.   

“Going to do an exploratory committee to look at everything from going home and feeding the cows and spending time with the family to clear up to running for governor,” he said.

And Jones said anything in between. He said that could include a run for state Senate, but he agreed, it would be difficult to affect much change in that role.

“I don’t have this desire to hold a position, but I want to make a difference. There’s only a limited amount of things that you can do to make a difference for your kids and grandkids and I don’t want to miss that opportunity,” he said.

News 9 asked Jones, if you were in the governor’s position now, what would you do to bridge an estimated $878 million budget and give teachers promised raises?  

He said he would look at a combination of spending cuts and revenue enhancements; like rolling back some tax breaks. He also suggested trimming government fat.

“The governor about a year ago said we should eliminate 10 percent of all non mission critical expenses,” Jones said. “I think we should be looking and focusing on cutting 100 percent of all non-mission critical expenses. If it’s not critical to the mission we shouldn’t be spending it.”

Gov. Mary Fallin said Jones would be on a long list of possible candidates.

“It’s a big step up. Of course, he hasn’t had any legislative experience but like I said there’s a lot of great people out there who will choose to run. Certainly, something he should look at,” Fallin said.

“You know, it may come down to it that I decide that there’s somebody else out there that’s better to hold this position and lead and maybe that best position for me is going home and feeding cows and spending time with grandkids,” Jones said.