Meet Candidates: Gary Jones, Republican Candidate for Governor and Chris Powell, Libertarian Candidate for Governor
Gary Jones - Republican Candidate for Governor
Gary was born at Fort Sill August 27, 1954, the fifth of seven children to M SGT James J. & Clara Jones. Gary started school at Jefferson Elementary in Lawton, but like most military families moved, and also attended school in Coleman, Texas, and Hanau, Germany. He returned to Lawton, attending Eisenhower Jr. High and graduating from Eisenhower High School in 1972.
In fall of 1972, Gary entered Cameron University while also working full-time for Southwestern Bell Telephone. At age 20, Gary was promoted to a management position for Southwestern Bell, becoming one of the youngest managers in company history.
In 1977, Jones returned to Lawton, attending night classes at Cameron and earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in accounting in 1978. Jones worked for Southwestern Bell for 10 years before starting a telecommunications company he owned and operated for 16 years. He was elected Comanche County Western District Commissioner in August 1994 and served 4 years.
In 1999, Jones returned to Cameron to finish the requirements needed to sit for the CPA exam, becoming a Certified Public Accountant in May 2000. He is also a Certified Fraud Examiner. Gary has spent much of his adult life seeking to expand government accountability and to improve the delivery of government services.
Gary was elected Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman in 2003 and is distinguished as the longest serving Chairman and Executive Director in the history of the state party. He resigned his position in 2010 to make a third attempt at being elected State Auditor & Inspector. He was re-elected in 2014. With Gary leading the auditor's office they have increased the quantity of audits it conducts without sacrificing the quality of the work product and have doubled the number of CPA's on staff.
Gary and his wife, the former Mary Jane Horton, have been married 40 years and live on their farm southwest of Cache where they raised two children, and built their cow-calf operation of over 30 years. After a 36-year teaching career, Mary Jane retired in May 2011.
Their daughter, Kelly Gilland is a pre-K teacher at Chattanooga Elementary School. Son, Chris, manages the family farm and is a former member of the United States Marine Corps. The Joneses have three wonderful grandchildren.
Find out more about Gary Jones: jonesok2018.com
Chris Powell - Libertarian Candidate for Governor
Chris Powell joined the Libertarian Party in 2000 and has served as state chair as well as being the OKLP's most successful candidate, receiving over 89,000 votes for Oklahoma County Clerk in 2016(beating LP presidential candidate Gary Johnson's statewide total of 83,841).
Powell has successfully promoted legislation that expanded public access to vital records and helped lead to the creation of an online index available to the public, was a plaintiff in challenging Oklahoma election law in Beaver v. Clingman that was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, and has had multiple opinion pieces published in the Daily Oklahoman and at LewRockwell.com.
Powell, active in the OKLP since 2000 including a term as chairman, contrasts his greater depth of political experience as compared to the other Libertarian candidates for the state's highest office. In regard to those seeking the Republican and Democrat nominations, Powell said, "My life is far more representative of the vast majority of Oklahomans than that of the members of the political establishment in those other two parties. I understand the daily problems of regular people in ways those politicians never can."
Powell said he intends to focus on empowering local school boards and teachers, elimination of special interest tax credits, state agency consolidation, criminal justice reform, and working to reduce divisions in the Legislature, all of which will he says will help address ongoing state budget problems.
"Each vote I get on Nov. 6, 2018 will be a clear message to every elected state official to put aside partisan differences and enact real solutions for our state," said Powell. Credit: MiamiOK.com
Powell lives in Bethany with his wife and three children.
Find out more about Chris Powell: powellforgovernor.com
5345 S Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK 74105-6819
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