Piper says he'll run for District 1 commissioner
Dr. Everett Piper, who retired in 2019 from the presidency of Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville after nearly 17 years, announced Monday in Pawhuska that he intends to run next year for the post of District 1 county commissioner for Osage County.
In addition to his career in higher education, Piper has gained notoriety as an author, columnist and political commentator.
Piper introduced himself Sept. 20, during the citizen input portion of a meeting of the Osage County Board of County Commissioners. He said that he is a resident of Osage County and intends to seek the District 1 seat. Randall Jones, the current District 1 commissioner, was absent at the time for personal reasons.
When a representative of the Journal-Capital approached Piper after the meeting about his decision to seek the commissioner post, he cited "local control and local respect" as key concerns.
"People should be respected, they should be honored, they should be heard and they should be attended to," Piper said, providing a view of his ideas about constituent service. "I have a passion for these things. That's a point-of-the-spear issue for me."
Piper is planning to file to run as a Republican. Jones, the current officeholder in District 1, is also a Republican.
The Journal-Capital followed up, asking Piper a question about what voters in Osage County District 1 might find to be different about their county government if he is elected.
Piper explained that he thinks a candidate's worldview is critically important.
"My philosophy of government is, 'Leave me alone,'" Piper said. He said that he had shared that philosophy with Donald Trump during a conversation they had at Trump Tower prior to Trump's 2016 election to the U.S. presidency.
Piper said that he hopes Osage County government will, if he is elected, do "as little as it's supposed to do and no more." He said that his approach to administrative leadership is "to hire good people and get out of their way."
Piper is the author of "Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of
Abandoning Truth," published in 2017 by Salem Books. He was the 2016 recipient of the Jeane Kirkpatrick Award for Academic Freedom. He is a contributing columnist for the Washington Times and he has appeared on numerous television programs.
"I welcome anybody who wants to run," Jones said, when asked for a reaction to Piper's candidacy. "I'm all about what's best for the county."