Jerry Donathan says he’s making one promise regarding his plans if he’s elected the new District 3 Pittsburg County commissioner.
“I’ll do the best job I can with the budget we’ve got,” he said.
Donathan, 66, is announcing his candidacy for the vacant District 3 Pittsburg County commissioner’s post. The post has been left vacant due to the Aug. 7 death of former District 3 County Commissioner Ronnie Young, whose death remains under investigation.
Gov. Mary Fallin has called an Oct. 8 Primary Election to fill the vacant commissioner’s post, with the General Election, if necessary, set for Nov. 12.
Donathan, who is a Democratic candidate, currently serves as chairman of the Pittsburg County Democrat Club.
He’s secretary of the Pittsburg County Firefighters Association and is also past president of the group, which is an association consisting of fire departments in Pittsburg County. Donathan is a member of the Blue Volunteer Fire Department.
He believes his work and life experience has left him well qualified to serve as Pittsburg County commissioner, including 10 years as an ironworker based in Tulsa, as well as his years of work at the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant and his time spent in military service.
Donathan retired from McAAP in 2010, where he had worked as a welder and a chief auto mechanic.
“I just think I can make a difference with my experience,” Donathan said. “I’m going to try and improve the roads and make it better for people to enjoy Pittsburg County.
“I know it will be a big test,” he said. “You’ve got to go out there and try.
“I can work; I want to see things improve.”
Donathan has been involved in a number of civic and community organizations, including the group that’s behind the God’s Little Angel Memorial in Chadick Park.
He’s a 32nd Degree Mason with Masonic Lodge No. 9 in McAlester, previously known as Lodge 550. Donathan, who’s the current Knight Court commodore of arms, is also a past master of the lodge.
Regarding his military service, Donathan has served in the U.S. Navy and the Oklahoma National Guard.
He began his military service in the navy, where he served as a communications technician from 1966-1970.
Following his naval discharge, he enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard, where he first served as a member of the 445th Military Police Co.
While serving with the 445th, Donathan was deployed three times to Panama.
Donathan and the rest of the 445th were also deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield, ordered by President George H. Bush in 1990, as a response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait earlier that year. Operation Desert Shield turned into Operation Desert Storm during the first U.S. war with Iraq, as Donathan and the rest of the 445th continued to serve overseas.
After returning to the states, Donathan later served with the 120th Engineer Detachment of the Oklahoma National Guard, where he learned more skills he believes will serve him well as District 3 commissioner. He said he also spent seven years with the Oklahoma Military Department.
Donathan and his wife, Barbara Donathan, have been married for 41 years. They live on Pyle Mountain, in the Blue community.
“It would be an honor to serve the public,” Jerry Donathan said.
“I want the people to be behind me and I’ll do the best I can.”