State Senator Kenneth Corn, who reportedly has been working quietly for months behind the scenes in preparation, will announce his candidacy for lieutenant governor within a few days, Democratic insiders confirm. The Democrat from Poteau is expected to transfer about $100,000 from his Senate campaign account to kick-start his campaign, sources indicate.
Known for his hard-charging campaign style, Corn apparently has built a long list of pledged supporters and contributors statewide.
Corn, viewed as a political moderate, most likely will enter the race as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Lt. Governor Jari Askins, a Duncan Democrat, is vacating the post to run for governor she indicated in a letter to her supporters last week.
Corn was elected to the Senate in 2002 at the age of 25, making him the second youngest state senator in state’s history and the current youngest serving senator. Prior to his election to the senate, Corn served two terms in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He was elected to the House at the age of 22 which made him one of the youngest Oklahomans to serve in state’s history.
Corn has served on the leadership teams in both chambers of the legislature. In the House, Corn served as the Democratic Caucus Secretary and he currently serves as the Democratic Caucus Chairman in the State Senate. Corn was appointed as the first freshman lawmaker in 30 to the vice-chair of a major committee in 1998, which was Revenue and Taxation. He later served as the chair of the Tourism and Recreation Committee in his last term in the House. Corn was tapped as the Chair of the Retirement and Group Health Committee in his first two years in the Senate overseeing billions of dollars in assets. He also serves as one of the state’s Pension Commissioners that has jurisdiction over all of the state’s retirement systems.
Corn pushed through landmark legislation that provides health insurance benefits to Oklahoma educators, as well as the legislation bringing teachers’ salaries to the regional average. He was the author of the largest investment in the maintenance of Oklahoma’s roads and highways in state’s history in 2005. Corn has also been a strong advocate for increased funding for public safety which has earned him praise from law enforcement officials all across Oklahoma
Corn was born in Poteau. He graduated from Howe High School in 1996 and the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 2005. He was a member of the OU President’s Leadership Class, a Ruth Norman and United State Senate Youth Scholar.Corn is the only person to serve two terms as the State President of Future Business Leaders of America and one term as National President. He served on the National School-to-Work Advisory Council for the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, as well as the National March of Dimes Youth Council.
Corn is a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders where he has traveled to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and as one of only four U.S. political leaders to the Conference on Democracy in the Balkans. He also traveled to the People’s Republic of China in 1998 as a part of the OU Journey to China Exchange Program.
Corn is a deacon in the First Christian Church of Heavener. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge and is a Shriner. He also serves on the Executive Council of the Indian Nations Council of the Boy Scouts of America and he is an Eagle Scout. He serves on the Board of the local chapter of the Red Cross. He is also a member of the National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Legislative Sportsmen Caucus, Leflore County Cattlemen Association, Farm Bureau and Oklahoma Farmers Union. He is a member of the Heavener, Poteau, Spiro, Sallisaw, and Roland Chambers of Commerce.
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