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Oklahoma elections: State Auditor and Inspector race narrow

Gary Jones narrowly ahead in state auditor and inspector race.
BY VALLERY BROWN Modified: November 3, 2010 at 1:21 am •  Published: November 3, 2010

Republican Gary Jones held a narrow lead over of incumbent Democrat Steve Burrage for the state auditor and inspector post as votes trickled in Tuesday night.

With less than half of the precincts reporting, Jones was carefully optimistic as Republicans in other statewide races claimed victory. Throughout the evening, he maintained a nearly 10-point lead.

"So far, so good," Jones said. "We're pleased with the numbers so far."

Jeremy Harris, campaign spokesman for Burrage, said the auditor was keeping a close eye on the election returns from his home in Antlers.

"We're all gathered here and it's still early," he said.

Burrage was appointed to the post in 2008 by Gov. Brad Henry. His predecessor, Democrat Jeff McMahan, is serving a federal prison sentence stemming from corruption charges.

McMahan was convicted of accepting bribes and conspiracy to deprive Oklahomans of their right to honest public service.

This was Burrage's first attempt at statewide office and the third for Jones.

Jones, a former chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, previously ran for the auditor's post in 2002 and 2006 and was defeated by McMahan.

He also made a failed bid for the state House of Representatives in 2000.