(Update: On Tuesday, June 28, Myles Davidson and Amy Alexander advanced to an Aug. 23 runoff election for Oklahoma County Commission District 3. The winner will face Democrat Cathy Cummings in the Nov. 8 general election.)
Three Republican candidates for the Oklahoma County Commission District 3 seat have prior experience working for the county, while another — a former professional motorcycle racer — is hoping his perspective as an outsider will be an advantage in the June 28 GOP primary. The open Oklahoma County District 3 seat is being vacated by Kevin Calvey, who is running for district attorney.
Oklahoma County District 3 covers far northwest Oklahoma City, Edmond, Arcadia and Luther. The candidates for the Republican nomination are: former Sheriff P.D. Taylor; Myles Davidson, Calvey’s current chief deputy; Amy Alexander, who works for District 2 Commissioner Brian Maughan; and Ronnie Jones, the former motorcycle racer, who now owns a marketing company.
The candidates all tout their professional experience as an asset for the commissioner job.
“I want to concentrate on doing the job that a commissioner should do, like potholes and bridges and mowing bar ditches out here in the country area where you can’t see a stop sign,” said Taylor, who has 50 years of law enforcement experience between the sheriff’s office and the OKCPD. “There’s just so much to do, and I know so many people, I think it would be a really positive thing for Oklahoma County to talk to the connections I have with some of the other cities surrounding our county and and do a lot of work.”
Before working in Calvey’s office, Davidson worked for Maughan and has spent 14 years in total working for the board.
“You go to the airport and you get on an airplane, you’re not looking for the guy from the back row to come in and fly your airplane,” Davidson said. “You’re actually looking for the experienced pilot to take control of the airplane.”
Alexander, currently a Maughan employee, previously worked in the Oklahoma County Clerk’s Office and in the county’s engineering office.
Alexander said Davidson’s longer tenure working for the board is not necessarily an advantage.
“Do you think that the BOCC has done an outstanding job for the past 12 years? You vote on my opponent,” Alexander said. “But if you are ready for a change, you should probably vote for me.”
Jones is the owner of Arrow Promotions Inc., a marketing and consulting company that primarily works with “motorsports and entertainment industries,” according to his LinkedIn. He is also a licensed insurance professional with Goosehead Insurance.
“I’m the only one that hasn’t been collecting a check from the taxpayers,” Jones said. “They’re making decisions. That’s where they’ve been.”
If none of these four GOP candidate wins a simple majority of votes in the June 28 primary election, then the top two vote earners will compete in an Aug. 23 runoff. The Republican candidate will compete against the winner of the Democratic primary — either Cathy Cummings or Jay Bridwell — in the Nov. 8 general election.
Early voting is open through 2 p.m. today. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28.
Davidson: Oklahoma County Jail bond question an ‘opportunity’
The June 28 ballot will ask Oklahoma County residents to vote on a proposed $260 million bond package to construct a new Oklahoma County Jail.
Taylor became Oklahoma County sheriff in a 2017 special election but lost his reelection bid in 2020. Taylor’s office operated the Oklahoma County Jail until July 1, 2020, and he said he will be voting yes on the bond question, calling a new county jail a “necessity.” Still, he wishes it were funded differently.
“I think a temporary countywide sales tax would have been the best way to do it,” Taylor said. “Then you’ve got people that live in other areas, you’ve got visitors, you’ve got everybody helping to pay for the new jail. And then once the money’s collected on a temporary countywide sales tax, then you reduce it to a very small amount and then you have enough coming in forever to operate the new jail.”
Davidson is also voting yes on the measure, and he has proposed converting the current jail tower into a data center space to lease to large tech companies.
“As it’s constructed, for a jail, clearly it is not good for that,” Davidson said. “But what it is good for is data centers.”
Davidson called the ballot question an “opportunity” to turn the jail into something positive for the county.
“The big companies, the Googles and Amazons, are looking for turnkey,” Davidson said. “And there you go, we’ve got it for you. We’re ready to rock.”
Alexander said the current jail structure is unfixable and that she would “probably vote yes” on the question. But she said she is wary that Oklahoma County residents do not have enough information about the proposal.
“How much for sure are we going to spend? How big is it going to be? What is the information?” Alexander asked.
Jones said his first inclination as a taxpayer would be to vote “no” on the proposed bond for a new jail He added that whether the proposal is passed or not, he would follow through with the wishes of Oklahoma County citizens.
“It’ll still be my and the other commissioners’ responsibility to do what’s necessary to solve the problem of the county jail,” Jones said.
‘A bit of transparency will go a long way’
Alexander said the jail was the primary issue that prompted her to run for office, but she said there are multiple other problems within the county that have not come to light.
“I feel like a bit of transparency will go a long way. I feel like the people in this community would be more understanding if we were just honest,” Alexander said. “Instead of just trying to cover up, and then we cover up that cover up to cover up with more cover-ups.”
Davidson said one of the most pressing issues, outside of the jail, is the backlog of infrastructure projects the county has yet to complete.
“That’s going to be the $70 million in infrastructure projects that we have across the entire county, the $70 million in roads and bridge construction, and it needs to happen today,” Davidson said. “That’s not including our normal operating budget and our normal construction and maintenance, that is projects that need to be done.”
If elected to the District 3 seat, Taylor said he is “going to try do something different” and “spend 100 percent of my time being county commissioner.”
“I don’t want to be the king of the jail trust,” Taylor said. “I don’t want to be the sheriff. I want to be county commissioner, Oklahoma County, District 3.”
Asked why he is running for the District 3 seat at age 75, Taylor called himself a “workaholic.”
“I retired for a few months. I didn’t like sitting at home doing nothing, and I think that’s the bottom line. I’ve got a lot to offer,” Taylor said. “I have to stay active. I don’t know anything else but work, and wherever I work, I give it 150 percent.”
If elected, Jones said he wants to listen to his constituents, leave Oklahoma County better than he found it, and get out of office. Jones claims the Founding Fathers did not intend for people to “roost in government.”
“They intended for people to farm, start businesses, raise families, [and] kind of learn what was important to people in the community and then go serve and come back to their business, that kind of thing,” Jones said. “Not just be politicians forever.”
Second quarter campaign finance reports.
Davidson was the only candidate in the GOP primary election to file his second quarter campaign finance report by the June 20 deadline. Jones filed his report June 21 and received two separate donations from James France, the CEO of NASCAR. At the time this article published, Taylor and Alexander have not filed their campaign finance reports at the Oklahoma County Election Board.
You can read the reports that were submitted here.