Tom Daxon

Hall of Fame,

 

Oklahoma native Tom Daxon earned a B.A. degree in economics in 1970 and a M.S. degree in geography in 1978 from OSU. Daxon also earned his C.P.A. certificate between the two degrees. With these tools, Daxon became a nationally recognized expert in state and local government finance.

In 1978, Daxon put his master’s thesis – Spatial Allocation of Marketing Resources In A Political Campaign – to the test by running for the newly reorganized office of Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector.  The state Election Board ruled Daxon ineligible to run twice due to age, but the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously reinstated his name on the ballot, resulting in him becoming the youngest person ever to win statewide office in Oklahoma at the age of 30, and the only Republican elected to statewide office that year.

When Daxon took over as the state auditor, Oklahoma was about to lose federal revenue sharing funds due to its poor audits. He upgraded the office personnel from one to 26 C.P.A.s while reducing its overall size, and introduced generally accepted auditing standards into the office’s audits. The office’s audits also played a key role in exposing a number of county commissioners in what became the largest public corruption scandal in U.S. history. Further corruption was exposed by Daxon on the part of a former President Pro Temp of the State Senate while the head of the state department of human services was forced to resign under Daxon’s leadership. Daxon’s success earned him the Republican nomination for governor in 1982, but he lost to incumbent George Nigh.

In 1983, Daxon joined the Arthur Andersen Office of Federal Services in Washington, D.C. In November 1994, two major events coincided to take his career in a different direction: Frank Keating was elected governor of Oklahoma, and Orange County, CA, declared bankruptcy weeks apart.

Gov. Elect Keating asked Daxon to join his administration as Secretary of Finance and Revenue. However, Arthur Andersen sent him to Orange County to lead the efforts in restoring solvency in what was the largest public bankruptcy in the U.S. up until that time. As the appointed county treasurer, Daxon worked in Orange County full time for the next five months, but often flew to Oklahoma on weekends to help Keating develop his fiscal policy and his first budget. By April of 1995, Daxon’s work in Orange County was finished, as the county was on the road to financial stability without the need for a tax increase or cutting key services. Daxon returned to Oklahoma and stayed with the Keating administration for the next eight years.

In 2003, with a new administration at the Capitol, Daxon went to work for the Oklahoma House of Representatives as the Budget Liaison. In 2006, he was elected chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party. The following year, Daxon formed his own consulting firm, assisting state and local governments with financial issues.

Daxon has been a featured speaker at conferences and meetings all over the country and has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Orange County Register as well as the Tulsa World and The Daily Oklahoman.  Additionally, he has been an adjunct professor of accounting at the University of Tulsa and Oklahoma City University.

Daxon is recently retired and lives with his wife of 45 years, Linda, in Oklahoma City. The two were the first couple ever married in the Oklahoma State Student Union. They have two sons.