Oklahoma City — A recent SoonerPoll shows Gary Jones, Oklahoma GOP Chairman and former candidate for State Auditor, slightly leading incumbent Steve Burrage in hypothetical race for Oklahoma Auditor and Inspector. In the match-up, Jones received 26.6 percent of the vote compared to Burrage who received 24.6 percent. A large portion of voters were undecided, 48.8 percent.
Jones has run twice before, most recently in 2006 when he was narrowly defeated by then incumbent Jeff McMahan who, after pleading guilty to criminal charges, resigned his post. Burrage was appointed as McMahan’s replacement by Governor Brad Henry and will have to face Oklahoma voters for the first time this November.
“If this race were to develop, it has all of the looks as an open seat,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com. “Jones is not an announced candidate and has obviously not been campaigning for the seat, while Burrage has never appeared on the statewide ballot before and is relatively unknown.”
SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 1000 likely voters from Feb. 25 – March 8. The study has a margin of error of ± 3.1 percent.
“Burrage would have an advantage with regard to fundraising as the current incumbent,” Shapard said, “but this year will be challenging for any Democrat on the statewide ballot given the current political climate in Washington, DC.”
To date, Jones has shown no interest in joining the race, but Republican insiders believe he is the best candidate for the race given his last two attempts at the seat.
Henry has made four appointments since becoming governor, including the most recent appointment of Burrage; two of them have gone on to win election and one has not.