State Director for Oklahoma
Kenneth Corn has spent his entire adult life serving the people of Oklahoma. Elected at the age of 22 to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1998, he became one of the youngest individuals to serve in state history. Corn was tapped as vice chairman of the Revenue and Tax Committee making the first freshman lawmaker in thirty years at the time to be on the leadership of a major committee. He was selected as the Secretary of the Democratic Caucus and was later chosen to chair the House committee on Tourism and Recreation. In addition, he was one of the members chosen to help redraw the House and Senate Districts in 2000 during the redistricting required by the Constitution.
In 2002 following the death of his mentor and friend Senator Larry Dickerson, Corn announced his intentions to seek the Senate seek for District 4. He was elected by the voters in Leflore and Sequoyah Counties with a margin over 80 percent making him the second youngest person to serve in the Senate in state history. Corn was immediately tapped to head the Insurance and Retirement Committee in the Senate where he helped shape the state regulations of the insurance industry and set state policy on retirement for thousands of public sector employees. Corn was also chosen to represent the Senate as a state pension commissioner where he had oversight of billions of dollars in assets. During his tenure, Corn was honored by his election to serve as the Democratic Caucus Chair for the remainder of his service in the Senate. In addition, Corn was tapped to be the chair of the Senate Appropriations Sub-committee for Public Safety and Judiciary where he was considered a strong advocate for law enforcement and good steward of taxpayers' dollars.
During his service in the Oklahoma Legislature, Corn was a driving force behind increasing teacher pay. His efforts moved Oklahoma ever closer to the regional average at the time. Corn pushed the legislature to pass the Larry Dickerson Flexible Benefit Act providing 100 percent health insurance to school personnel throughout Oklahoma. In the Senate, Corn spearheaded the efforts to improve public safety which led to the largest appropriations in state history at the time. He tackled prison overcrowding and staffing shortages, additional academies to put more troopers of the street, and increased the pay of state law enforcement officials. Corn reformed the state's Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training with the passage of Senate 920 bringing the system into the modern realities of law enforcement. Corn recognized by law enforcement agencies and officials for his efforts. He was chosen by the District Attorney's Council, Oklahoma State Troopers Association, and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations Director for multiple awards. In addition, Corn was the principal architect on the largest investment in Oklahoma's highway and bridges at the time.
In 2010, Corn returned home to Poteau where he worked in the oil and gas transportation industry. Corn has used his experience and education in government to make changes for the industry through work with state and federal agencies.
Corn was appointed to serve as City Manager of Anadarko, Oklahoma on March 31, 2005. At the time of his appointment, Anadarko had been operating in a deficit. Corn overhauled the City's purchasing process, billing systems and renegotiated contractual obligations bringing the city back to financial stability and allowing significant investments in capital improvements.
Corn renewed partnerships with the federal, state, county and tribal governments that generated over $8 million in grants awarded to Anadarko and completed large capital improvements for the city, including significant upgrades to city sidewalks, roadways, water and wastewater system, electric distribution system, landscaping, public art, and to Anadarko’s parks. In addition, by gaining support of industries, local businesses and tribal governments, Corn developed festivals including Hoppy Day, Zombies-in-the-Park, Kids, Kites-and-Frights, and a traveling Easter Bunny and Santa, all free to the public.
During his tenure, Anadarko has withstood historic weather, including a “hundred-year flood,” ice storms and record-breaking Arctic temperatures. During each crisis, Corn became widely acclaimed by Anadarko citizens for working on site with city crews and updating people via Facebook Live.
On February 24, 2022, Corn was appointed to serve as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) State Director for Rural Development in Oklahoma by President Joseph Biden, Jr.