Candidates for County Offices

Well, it’s Election Time in Mayes County

NOW is the time to start discussing these issues. If you and your friends [and enemies] post their thoughts about candidates here, you can say things that will never make it to the Daily Times, or The Paper. Share this with your friends. Be sure to click “Follow” at the top of the page, and you will get an email notification when new matters are posted.

The Primary Election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 24th. Early voting at the courthouse the preceeding Friday, Saturday, and Monday. BE SURE TO VOTE! 😄😎

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE CANDIDATES

COUNTY COMMISSIONER

District 2:
Alva Martin is not up for election this year. Anyone interested in filing next year? Hope so, he rules the Commission with an iron hand (or Iron Fist?). He killed the public comment agenda request, and threatened to have the Sheriff remove me from the meeting when I was trying to apologize. Remember the Tulsa World Article?

District 1:

Kevin Whiteside has filed and is unopposed in District 1. We understand that Kevin also drove an Adair School Bus, while still employed by District 1, and was loved by the kids, and obviously had “nerves of steel”. Some rumors around that he had a bad temper, but haven’t found anyone who has seen this. He is currently employed as a District 1 Road Foreman, and doing a good job. We just hope that Alva will not try to control his decisions as a Commissioner. We think Kevin will make a good one. If you need to contact him, his cell number is 918-373-4054, which incidentally has a last digit just one number less than mine. You Sudoku fans, figure out my cell number!

District 3:

Ryan Ball, incumbent, has drawn two opponents. We think Ryan has done a pretty good job as a Commissioner, although he has a couple of warts. He DID oppose Darrell and Alva on the MESTA Mess, and the “Fixit Six” exercising good judgment here. But in the “Wart” classification, we understand Ryan has only completed a very, very small portion of the County Commissioner Training which is required by law for every new Commissioner. How about it Ryan, are you going to “git’er done” as my friend Larry the Cable Guy says? Larry do you read my blog? Also some rumors about Ryan and some split purchases, and unlawful dredging. He better watch this stuff, or someone is going to come after you!

Leon Stites, some call a perineal candidate. He is husband of my good friend Tammy Stites, longtime secretary in the Pryor District Attorney’s office. If you have ever had a “hot check”, and I am sure none of my readers ever have, you have met Tammy at the front desk in the DA’s office. Please don’t hold that against him. Grin again!

Randy Pierce, from Locust Grove. Sorry Randy, but I am not acquainted with you, but would love to meet you. Just wonder WHY would anyone want this thankless job as a commissioner. Did Ryan do something to hack you off? Let’s try to get together. I usually have coffee at Carl’s Junior after Monday Commissioner’s meetings.

Well, that’s the lineup for County Commissioner races. Comment here with what you think about the candidates.

Court Clerk Candidates

Tammy Qualls, is the current Court Clerk, and is doing a lousy job, according to folks who visit the courthouse. . She was First Deputy Clerk when Lori Parsons retired. Tammy did a good job while I was on the bench was always the “go to” person when I had a problem. The job as a Court Clerk is a very hard one. There are tons of paperwork, and reports, and having to deal with people who are sometimes unhappy to be there. I hear she is only on the job about half the time, has a sour attitude, and doesn’t help her employees with their problems.

A very good long time employee is ready to quit.

Rita Harrison, another long time deputy has also filed. I think this may have come as a surprise to many of the courthouse folks, but I may be wrong. She would make a good Court Clerk, and has a lot of experience. Rita has my support, and my vote. I hope she has yours!

Joni Gates, has also filed. I have no idea how she is going to do in this election. I don’t remember if Joni was ever a deputy court clerk or not. I just saw her around the courthouse a lot. She and husband Jerry were in my court a lot of times on different matters, but of course some of those were when she worked for Pryor Attorney, Cherie Meislahn.

UPDATE June 24, 2014: A friend sent me a message on Facebook, inquiring as to whether Joni was eligible to hold office by reason of activities of her husband Jerry Gates, a former Pryor Firefighter, should disqualify her, and requested I use her history of full names in this post. Here is what she said:

  “I have a question about who is eligible to run for offices in Mayes County and I wasn’t real sure who to ask, so I will start with you, if I may. I saw that Joni Jordan Erwin Hauenstein Gates was proceeding to run for County Court Clerk. With her husband being caught stealing fishing tackle from Wal Mart, while employed at the Pryor Fire Department, wouldn’t that be an issue for her holding a County office seat? Also, he was charged with urinating in an ex-girlfriends gas tank on her vehicle. I assumed that an elected official would have a fairly clean slate with the law, including their spouse. Am I wrong in assuming this? I am not involved with either of the Gates, but I know that those 2 items, on Mr. Gates, were in the local The Daily Times in the past. Thank you for your time and consideration.”

Associate District Judge

Quite an unexpected surprise here, Tammy Ward, City Attorney at Locust Grove has filed against incumbent Associate District Judge Shawn Taylor. Don’t know if anyone around the courthouse or bar association saw this one coming.

Shawn Taylor, the incumbent, has been on the bench quite a while now. He succeeded Terry McBride, when Terry was appointed a District Judge following Jim Goodpaster’s resignation to enter private practice. I know you all miss Jim as much as I do! Shaun’s wife Michelle is counselor at the Adair Schools, and holds a Doctorate degree. They have two small children. From all that I have heard, and observed during my time on the bench, Shawn has served well, honestly, and made good fair judicial decisions, and is well liked by those who appear before him. He has our support, and $money$, and we hope he has yours!

I was Shawn’s first campaign contributor. He now has an address for his campaign, and contributions. Send your checks to: Campaign to Re Elect Taylor, PO Bo 925, Pryor, OK 74362-0924.

Tammy Ward, attorney from Locust Grove was a late filer in the race. Don’t believe anyone saw her as running for this office. Tammy is City Attorney for Locust Grove, and is a pretty good attorney. Sorry Tammy, but we see no reason to replace Shawn. We hear through the grapevine (you know how informed the grapevine is around here), that she was wanting to run for some county office, and ran for Judge since she had signs in her garage left over from a previous campaign in another county.

We also understand that she has a new job working for a tech school, and is quitting as Locust Grove City Attorney, and withdrawing from other legal representations. Since running for office may have been a matter of money, with the new job, she may not campaign much. I guess as in all things, time will tell.

District Attorney

It looks like this race is going to heat up, with 4 candidates. Three have filed as Republicans, (Does that tell you something about the changing demographics of our area), and one as a Democrat. Let’s get rid of (not literally) the Democrat first.

Robert Post, of Catoosa was a late filer, filing as the only Democrat in the race. Robert is the husband of retiring District Judge Dynda Post. They now live in Catoosa. Robert does most of his practice in the area of Worker’s Compensation law, and works a lot for tv lawyer David Garrett the last I know. He doesn’t have any real experience in criminal law that I can recall. Word is he may be in the race to give Janet Steidley a job if she loses in the primary or runoff. I don’t expect to see much from him in the way of campaigning.

Erin Oquin, from Inola has been campaigning since last fall. She has served a number of years as a Special District Judge in our Judicial District (Mayes, Rogers, and Craig Counties), and has a lot of support from members of the bar, and law enforcement. Erin is a good person, was a good judge, and will make an excellent District Attorney. I will go on record here as supporting her, and hope you will too! Send your campaign contributions to: Oquin for District Attorney, PO Box 1414, Inola, OK 74036.

Matt Ballard, from Claremore has also been in the race quite a while, but not as long as Erin. Matt is currently a Claremore attorney, and by all reports does a pretty good job at lawyering. He came knocking on my door campaigning a few weeks ago. Nice to see any “door knocker”, since I know they are serious about winning. Matt also has the experience to be a good DA, but I think he doesn’t have the name recognition in Craig and Mayes counties as Erin does. My vote is still with Erin.

Janice Steidley, least, and I certainly hope last, is the current DA. Since her election, Janice has literally turned the 3 offices upside down! She really put the screws to my friend, and longtime DA Chuck Ramsey, and terminated him for no cause, other than being a male, after many years of dedicated and outstanding service! Really turned out as a blessing for Chuck though, he is doing quite well in his practice with John Crockett, on main street, in downtown Pryor. An Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper told me last week two very important things about Janice, and her running of her office. First, she now requires any officer to have an appointment before coming in to see an Assistant about a case! How ridiculous can you get in requiring our officers who put their lives on the line for us every day to make an appointment! Enough reason to fire her now. Second, also understand she is sitting on cases and not filing them. I can attest this is true. I am a victim, I hate to admit, and the DA has had a one inch thick report on her desk since early February, and will not even give me a courtesy of returning my phone calls, or answering my email about filing the case! Then there’s the Grand Jury scandal matter. Multi-County Grand Jury is now meeting, and discussing Janice along with 2 Rogers County Commissioners, who are in deep stuff now. Indictments now either down, or coming down. Rogers County is always in some kind of turmoil, it seems to be in their blood over there.

Update April 26, 2014: Last Monday Janice telephoned me, and told me that the criminal matter in which I was a victim had been referred to the Attorney General, and her office had disqualified. I know of no reason she should disqualify, other than the kind remarks I have said about her above! I telephoned the AG’s office, and talked to a vey nice gentleman there. He advised me that they had not received the info from Steidley. He told me that he was very familiar with Janice. I asked about the Multi-County Grand Jury, and was told that they were in recess now, but still hearing witnesses on their investigation of Janice. He called me back Friday, and told me the report had arrived, and he was taking it home to read over the weekend. Guess we will hear from him next week.

Update June 2014. The Attorney General’s office advised me that they had referred the case to Washington County (Bartlesville) DA’s office for review and filing. Hope to hear from them soon.

It’s time to Fire Janice Steidley NOW!

As one of my old favorite cartoon characters, Bugs Bunny says, “That’s all Folks”, at least for now. I’ve been thinking of calling Darrell “Bugs” because of all the Looney Tunes stuff he does, and Alva “Road Runner” because of the way he always bugs out of meetings without giving anyone the chance to talk to him. What do you think? Post your thoughts.

Primary Election date: Tuesday (of course) June 24

Numbers of Mayes County Registered voters by party, as of January 15, 2014

Democrat:      11,034

Republican:     7,629

Independent:   2,010

Total:             20,673

I will cover Second Congressional District Candidates when I figure out who they are.

Remember to Post, Tell Your Friends, and Follow this blog. Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

Judge Gary J Dean

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About Judge Gary J Dean

I have practiced law in Pryor (Creek), Oklahoma, since graduation from the Oklahoma University College of Law. I served as a District Court Judge serving Mayes, Rogers, and Craig Counties until my retirement in 2010. Since my retirement I have served as a Mediator, and engaged in the private practice of law. My wife Tracey, and I have both been very active in civic affairs all of our lives. I had to cut back on this activity while on the bench. Tracey is very active in Rotary, and has served as an Assistant District Governor in Rotary International District 6110, and is a Past President of our Pryor club. We are both Rotary Paul Harris Foundation Fellows. I started this Blog because of serious wrongdoing in the community which I see. I would have had to keep quiet on these matters while a Judge. The purpose of this Blog is to provide a forum for discussion of community issues. Comments will remain uncensored, and unedited, except for unreasonably improper language. Your comments and suggestions are welcome. I sincerely hope all enjoy visiting this blog, and that it will provide a good forum for community issues.
This entry was posted in Elections, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Candidates for County Offices

  1. Commissioner Ryan Ball has setup a Facebook page for his campaign. (Does anyone think Ryan did this himself?? Grin)

    He also has a new cell phone to use for campaign purposes, since his other one is a County phone. Great move Ryan, at least we have one ethical Commissoner! His new cell number is 918-691-5090.

    Guess he wears one phone on each hip 6 gun style, and is gunning for the other two in the race!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anomyous says:

    Thanks for the information that you give here Judge Dean. I’m sorry you lost the comments when the pages were lost. They were very helpful. I don’t see the page on how Yoder and Martin SCREWED my fire department out of sales tax money my wife and I voted for them to have. Please tell us what in going on in the law sute. Thanks

    Like

  3. Jim A. Hall says:

    With all due respect on your comments about Erin O’quinn, I have stood before her and found her to be the most incompetent and corrupt judge in the judicial district. Her orders took my five children into custody in a county they were found but did not legally reside. Her orders kept them in Rogers County and away from their father, me, for over a year without visitation and two years total. Even when the McIntosh County OKDHS investigator testified there was no domestic violence or child abuse in our county, O’Quin still listened to the incompetent and corrupt Rogers County OKDHS. She even falsely charged I had threatened her and then violated the law on child welfare cases and shared publicly and in the Claremore Progress taht my psychological exams had her concerned for her safety. It was an honest judge, Gary J. Dean, taht finally was assigned the case and started filtering through everything to find the truth. Now Erin O’Quin may have only made a few mistakes in the judicial office(Hall case, Poteet case, Carla Leggates case) but if she caused the harm of just one child (there were actually 9 children discovered harmed by O’quinn rulings) then she should retire from public office and just practice law.

    We forgive Erin O’Quin, but will never forget the damage she caused my children. Damage we are still dealing with in Arkansas

    http://donhaslam.com/cases/civ-2.html

    Like

    • Jim Hall, as you can see, I approved your post without editing. We pride ourselves on having a blog that everyone can share their thoughts on, even if we don’t agree with them.
      I very well know the truth of what you have said above. You AND the children got a very raw deal from the Judicial system, Rogers County DA’s office, and Rogers County DHS. I am happy that I could help right the wrongs you all suffered. I see that you have inserted a link to my Opinion in your case.

      Regarding Erin Oquin, I believe that she was misled by DHS and the SafeNet domestic violence director in Claremore, as many were. In the time since your hearing Erin has heard many cases, and has matured a lot. Remember she had not been on the bench very long when she heard your case, and as most judges do, tended to believe the DHS workers, and the shelter people.

      I stand by my opinion that Erin is the best and only candidate we should support for District Attorney. Janice Steidley continues to do a lousy job as I have said before. I know you and the kids have had a rough time in Arkansas, and hope you can work through that. I know you are a good Christian man, and appreciate your forgiveness of Erin. Good luck to all of you.

      Anyone wishing to contact Jim Hall can reach him on his cell phone 870-281-5587, email JimAHall@yahoo.com HELP HIS KIDS: They run a great chicken operation, and have some great chicks for sale if you have any kind of chicken operation, other than a Tyson type operation.

      Like

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