McKinney will not seek re-election in District 3

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

District 3 Osage County Commissioner Darren McKinney, of Fairfax, says he's ready to move on.

McKinney, who will be 51 in June, is finishing his second full term on the Board of County Commissioners. When he leaves office at the end of calendar year 2022, he will have given more than 9 years of service on the county board. He served a partial term before running for his first full term.

"Been long enough," he said, when asked about his decision. "I'm just ready to do something else."

He said that his wife actually wanted him to run again, but he's not.

McKinney's decision becomes irrevocable at the end of this week, because the filing period for candidates for county offices is April 13-15.

County offices up for determination in 2022 include District 1 Commissioner, District 3 Commissioner, County Assessor and County Treasurer. District Attorney for Osage and Pawnee counties is a state office that will also be on the ballot this year.

All of the incumbents have said they plan to seek re-election, except McKinney. 

In the District 1 commissioner race, there will be at least four candidates if everyone who has publicly discussed running actually files a declaration. The potential candidates include John Brazee; Clay Hughs; Randall Jones, who is the incumbent commissioner; and Everett Piper. All four have said they plan to run in the Republican Party primary, which is June 28.

The District 1 potential candidates have already been talking about themselves and each other in public.

The offices of District 2 Commissioner, Sheriff, County Clerk, and County Court Clerk were up for determination in 2020.

Kevin Paslay, who served one four-year term as District 2 Commissioner, did not seek re-election in 2020. Steve Talburt won the seat and is now in his second year of service. Talburt was previously an investigator with the Osage County Sheriff's Office.

County commissioners are responsible for budgets and setting county policy generally, but they are perhaps best known to their constituents as the three people most responsible for maintaining county roads.

McKinney has established a reputation as a pragmatic, level-headed commissioner with a ready wit. He frequently defers to his colleagues, but has been known to be willing to stand his ground and cast tough votes. He is Osage, but has been willing to oppose positions taken by Osage Nation leaders if he viewed an issue differently.

Photo cutline: Darren McKinney