OKLAHOMA | OK-gov

Jones Files Exploratory Committee, Plots Summer Decision

Todd Lamb could face populists (Jones and Richardson) in the primary.

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Zach C. Cohen
April 3, 2017, 11:13 a.m.

State Aud­it­or Gary Jones (R) “con­firmed he was form­ing a com­mit­tee to help him de­cide” wheth­er to run for gov­ernor in 2018. “Jones said he’ll know by this sum­mer wheth­er he will form­ally an­nounce a cam­paign. In the mean­time, he’s try­ing to find sup­port­ers in each of Ok­lahoma’s 77 counties.”

The “buttoned-up, busi­ness-backed” Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb (R) “could face a Re­pub­lic­an primary chal­lenge from two pop­u­lists.”

Jones has “been a thorn in the side of law­makers, cri­ti­ciz­ing them for fin­an­cial choices. From his Twit­ter and Face­book ac­counts this month, Jones told sup­port­ers that if it was easy, any­one could do it. He fol­lowed the mes­sage with the hasht­ags ‘#cant­maketh­is­crapup’ and ‘#timetor­e­in­vent­gov­ern­ment.’”

Jones: “I think the only chance that I have is it’s go­ing to be a grass­roots cam­paign. I’m not go­ing to have the most money; in fact, I’ll have sig­ni­fic­antly less money than any­body. But that doesn’t make me any less qual­i­fied to do the job.”

Gary Richard­son (R), a 2002 can­did­ate, “[t]hroughout his polit­ic­al ca­reer … has taken a pop­u­list’s stance on the turn­pike sys­tem, cri­ti­ciz­ing its cost and the ef­fect on small towns and prop­erty own­ers.”

Richard­son: “I’m not a part of the sys­tem. I’m an out­sider, and I’ll be free to do what needs to be done in this state be­cause I haven’t made any com­prom­ises.” (News­OK)

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