For the first time in 14 years, somebody other than Mick Cornett will be the mayor of Oklahoma City. But the city’s new mayor-elect already knows his way around the office.
David Holt cruised to victory Tuesday night in a three-way race to replace Cornett. Holt earned 78 percent of the vote in the Oklahoma City mayoral primary, beating Taylor Neighbors and Randall Smith. Holt will take the office on April 10.
During his victory speech at the First National Center, he said political watch parties are typically segregated places, but then listed the diversity he saw at his own.
"And I see Democrats, I see Republicans. I see people from the south side, I see people from the north side. I see people from the east side. I see Latinos, I see African Americans. I see Millennials, and I see people of all ages."
Holt, a 38-year-old Republican, spent four years as Cornett’s chief of staff, beginning in 2006. During that time, the NBA’s Seattle Sonics relocated to Oklahoma City and renamed themselves the Oklahoma City Thunder. Holt’s book, Big League City: Oklahoma City’s Rise to the NBA, chronicles how Oklahoma City’s efforts to land the franchise.
Holt left the mayor’s office in 2010 when he was elected to the state senate.
"This is one of the most divisive times in American politics, but not here in Oklahoma City. We’ve had remarkable unity and I think this campaign has taken it to another level, and I hope that that is preserved in the next four years or however long my service may last."
Prior to joining the mayor’s office in 2006, Holt had worked as an aide for Rep. Dennis Hastert, in the White House under President George W. Bush, and worked in the offices of U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe and then-Lt. Governor Mary Fallin.
Cornett announced last year that he would be stepping down as Oklahoma City’s mayor this spring. Cornett, who served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors from 2016 to 2017, is now seeking the Republican nomination for Governor.