- Associated Press - Friday, September 2, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma’s two-term Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones said Friday he is strongly considering running for state treasurer in 2018, when his current term expires.

The Republican from Cache said he hasn’t made a final decision, but plans to do so after the 2016 general election.

“I think I have a reputation for being willing to stand up and do what’s right and in the best interest of Oklahoma,” Jones said. “So many times you get people who are influenced by campaign contributions or even just the limelight of being an elected official.

Both Jones and current Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller, also a Republican, are term-limited in 2018. The two were elected in 2010 as Republicans took every statewide elected office on the ballot from Democrats, including governor, lieutenant governor, state superintendent, labor commissioner and insurance commissioner.

If elected, Jones said he also would be willing to serve as director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, a position appointed by the governor, in order to save the state money.

Former Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, appointed then-Treasurer Scott Meacham to serve as director of that agency.

A cattle rancher and certified public accountant, Jones is the former chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party.

Jones said he would prefer to seek another four-year term as state auditor, but is prohibited because of term limits.

“We’ve got a great staff. We’ve been able to increase the number of audits we’ve performed, even as our budget has been cut,” Jones said. “I think I’ve demonstrated that I’m a public servant, and that’s what we need in positions in the state of Oklahoma - people who are willing to serve the public and not serve themselves.”

Lawmakers this year considered a resolution seeking a public vote on whether to increase the term limits for most statewide elected offices, except for governor, from eight years to 12 years. The measure passed the Senate but was voted down in the House.


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