MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

June 8, 2014

Cherokee County official in race with newcomer

Incumbent cites goals; foe sees room to do better

Editor’s Note: One in a series of election stories.

Cherokee County’s District 1 commissioner race pits incumbent Doug Hubbard against retired welder Ted French.

Hubbard, who has 12 years of experience in the office, said he wants a fourth term and has plans to complete goals, including the Combs Bridge over the Illinois River.

French said he wants a chance to make improvements.

“From what I see, there can be more improvements on the roads,” French said. “I have seen so many bad roads in our county, I decided maybe I can make a difference in this.”

Hubbard said he was particularly proud of two accomplishments in the county.

“The first big accomplishment was we voted in a sales tax for a new detention center and completed the detention center,” he said. “I also have built a new county barn facility for all the county’s equipment.”

Resurfacing as many roads as possible is on Hubbard’s priority list, he said.

Hubbard said that he felt qualified when he first ran 11 years ago.

“Now, I feel like I am really qualified,” he said. “I feel like I can do a good job.”

French didn’t mind that he doesn’t have as much experience in county commissioner work as Hubbard.

“I don’t even know who my opponent is,” French said. “I haven’t met him in my life, and he’s been my commissioner for 12 years.”

French, who also is concerned about the roads, said he would work closely with the Cherokee Nation to get funding to pave roads on bus routes. “It would save taxpayers money from maintaining buses,” French said.

A retired welder, French has a background in construction, and he also has the capability to use heavy equipment, he said.

“I was a foreman for 10 years over a welding shop. I have mechanic experience,” French said.

One thing French said he could bring to the table as the county commissioner would be the ability to communicate with the Cherokee tribe members.

“I am a full-blood Cherokee,” he said. “I can speak and understand Cherokee.”

Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or ehillin@muskogeephoenix.com.

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