Oklahoma Auditor Gary Jones has plans for governor election
LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones is vying to become the state's next governor.
Jones is a Comanche County native and a former County Commissioner.
He was born at Fort Sill and attended Lawton Public Schools and Cameron University. He and his wife currently run a cow and calf operation in Cache.
"A lot of people are out there saying what they think people want to hear to get elected," said Gary Jones, Republican candidate. "What I'm out there doing is telling the truth and saying folks, this is the situation this is what we need to do and this is what I will do to get it fixed."
Jones said running for governor was never his goal, until he recognized a need in the state.
Jones, who was elected state auditor and inspector in 2010, said he's more than familiar with the state's budget and offers a plan to deficit.
"What we need to do a reset on the special deals we gave," said Jones. "I think we can generate 450 to 500 million by doing that. And then we need to go in and really focus like we've done in our office by making everything more efficient and cost-effective."
If elected governor, he would also work to get better pay for teachers. His wife of 40 years is a retired educator. He said when teachers are underpaid it affects the entire state.
"What we're seeing is those good teachers are now leaving and going to different states," said Jones. "So, we're losing the good teachers and what was also seeing is students are not going into education because they don't see a future in it. We got to stop that."
"If we can't keep our teachers then we are not going to be attractive to businesses that are here to stay or businesses that might want to come to locate," said Jones.
When it comes to the state's high incarceration rate, Jones said budget cuts have led to inmates simply being housed. He also has a plan to deal with that.
"Instead of trying to be tough on crime we've got to be smart on crime and figure out what we can do to get people treatment that needs treatment and get people trained," said Jones.
He said at the end of the day, it's all about building a better future for Oklahomans, while also figuring out a way to get the state out of the budget deficit.
"What we need to do is number one figure out how we are going to make it through this year, but also having a long-range plan for a five-year plan, ten-year plan, twenty-year plan," said Jones. "So, we actually have a vision of the future of Oklahoma."
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