MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 15, 2014

Banker to run for District 1 job

Ken Doke to seek county commission seat

A local banker declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the District 1 commissioner seat in Muskogee County.

Ken Doke, vice president and business development director at Arvest Bank in Muskogee, will campaign for the post being vacated by Commissioner Gene Wallace. The four-term commissioner announced in March his decision to step aside at the end of the year.

Doke is a lifelong resident of Muskogee County, where his father served as “a minister at a small country church.” Doke said his parents taught him the values he would carry with him as an elected official.

“Although we didn’t have much growing up, my parents taught me the importance of Christian morals, family values, hard work, and determination,” Doke said. “I learned early in life that you have to work hard for every dime, and that a penny saved is a penny earned.”

Doke said his decision to compete for public office was based upon his desire to bring “a new level of leadership” to the Muskogee County Board of Commissioners.

“I choose to raise my family here and have a vested interest in the future of Muskogee County,” Doke said. “My worst fear is that one day I’ll have to buy a plane ticket to visit my kids and grandkids because we failed to create opportunities and choices for them right here at home.”

Doke, who is on the boards of directors of Downtown Muskogee Inc. and The Salvation Army, cited statistics that show net wealth in the county has shrunk by nearly $50 million during the past 20 years. He said good jobs have gone away, and “it’s time to bring them back.

“I have a plan to improve our economy by broadening the tax base and implementing a new job incentive program,” Doke said, adding that he would apply for local, state and federal grants and maximize relationships with state agencies. “I will work with local banks to bring unique financial resources to area businesses ... (and) send a loud and clear message to potential job creators: We are open for business in Muskogee County!”

Doke described himself as “an innovator and a visionary” who would “bring unprecedented, private-sector experience to the commissioner seat.” In addition to banking, Doke’s experience includes the creation of a technology company with 1,000 clients who use what he said is “becoming one of the most widely used software solutions in our field.”

“With strong leadership, we can have better roads and bridges ... safer streets ... quality jobs, more choices and greater opportunities,” Doke said. “We can secure the future of our kids and grandkids, and together we can build a bridge to the future.”

Primary elections are scheduled for June 24, with primary runoffs planned Aug. 26. This year’s general elections will be Nov. 4.

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or dsmoot@muskogeephoenix.com.

Meet Ken Doke

AGE: 38.

HOMETOWN: Muskogee.

FAMILY: Wife, Jodi; three children, Kaje, Kensli Faith, and Jenlee Hope.

OCCUPATION: Vice president, business development director at Arvest Bank in Muskogee.

EDUCATION: University of Phoenix, bachelor’s degree in business administration.

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: New Hope Assembly of God.

HOBBIES: Hunting, fishing, shooting guns and spending time with family.

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