Oklahoma County Commissioner-elect Ray Vaughn wants to immediately move to reinstate the county budget board when he takes office in January, he said.
Vaughn, formerly a state representative of six years, returned to politics this week with the 12,054-10,220 defeat of incumbent District 3 Commissioner Stan Inman in a Republican runoff election.
Because no Democrat had entered the race, the runoff election determined the winner of the seat. Vaughn had led Inman in the primary as well, with 48 percent of about 24,000 votes to Inman's 43 percent. The third candidate, David Kelso, threw the race into a runoff by winning 9 percent of the primary vote.
"I'm very pleased. I was a little concerned that voter turnout in the runoff might be light, but the numbers seemed to hold up and we actually were able to grow our lead over Mr. Inman from the primary vote," Vaughn said Thursday. He has not spoken with Inman since the election, he said, "and I've been a little disappointed at that."
The re-creation of the budget board was vital in the election, he said: "I think it was one of the issues that the public could really grasp, and it was right there at the front of almost every debate. Certainly I focused on it, the media focused on it, the other elected county officials focused on it. - The public agreed that the budgeting process needs to be done by elected officials and not the excise board, and it needs to involve all the elected officials and not left to the whims of just a couple of commissioners."
The controversy began early last year after District 2 Commissioner Brent Rinehart joined Inman in disbanding the county's budget board in a 2-1 vote against fellow commissioner Jim Roth. …