Republican candidate Dennis P. Grace is running against three-term incumbent Dan Delozier for the Rogers County Commissioner District 1 seat this November.

The upcoming election is the first time Grace has run for public office, spending over 20 years in the private sector. That private sector experience is what Rogers County needs, he said.

Grace listed his top three priorities for the county should he be elected in November: funding the Sheriff’s department, roads and bridges and saving money through the consolidation of services in order to provide tax breaks.

“I’d like to see some of our services be consolidated through the district and the county,” Grace said. “I noticed that in the last election our one penny sales tax was voted down 3 to 1. I think that our county is looking for ways to save money. I’m not saying that we don’t need that penny, but do we need it all? I’m not sure. Could we get by on two-thirds? I don’t know, not without getting in there and looking at it.”

“I think the people of the county would like to see us do better on the ways that we’re spending our money,” Grace said.

Grace said he has the skill to help the county keep its costs down, which he gained in part by working for the locally owned Spectrum Paint Company, the largest independent paint dealer in the U.S.

“By working for my company, I’ve learned ways to save time and money by the way we move things, by the way we buy things, by the way we put things into our stores,” Grace said. “Our county is just like a business. We need to learn how to save money, how to consolidate things within the district.”

Grace has experience in purchasing, sales and distribution, but, he said “I also know that there are things I’m not qualified at.”

“I know from what I’ve read online that I can learn about the position through training with the state,” Grace said, confident that he could quickly pick up everything he needed to learn to do the job well.

Grace said he has high hopes for the future of the county.

“I see the county expanding as long as we learn how to lower our tax rates so that we’re attracting more business,” he said.

Grace said he hopes that the communities of Rogers County will be able to compete with Owasso and Tulsa. “We want to attract business here and attract people to live and work here.”

“I’ve lived in Rogers County, in Claremore, since 1991. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work. I believe that we should all try to help the community in any way we can, and I look at this as a way for me to be able to do that.”