Oklahoma City Councilman Ed Shadid announced Monday that he will run for mayor in 2014, setting up a potential battle with three-term incumbent Mayor Mick Cornett.
Cornett, elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2006 and 2010, has said he will decide whether to seek a fourth term later this summer. He's proved to be a popular candidate, winning with 87 percent of the vote in 2006 and 58 percent in 2010.
Shadid said in a video that he planned a “campaign emphasizing honesty, transparency, unprecedented public participation and neighborhood interests over special interests.”
Shadid announced his plans far in advance of the campaign season — candidates will file for mayor at the end of January, and the primary will be in early March.
Shadid is in his first term on the council. He has funded and hosted a series of town hall meetings that have drawn large crowds, including a transportation forum in February attended by about 500 people at Farmers Public Market near downtown.
That's where Shadid plans to kick off his campaign, with a rally Aug. 15. He began soliciting volunteers and donations Monday morning at his website, www.edshadid.com.
Shadid, a physician, sent out a memo in March indicating he planned to run. He sought proposals from consultants in specialties including polling and voter turnout.
The memo said he expected to spend $750,000 to $1.5 million on the campaign.
While Shadid is ready to challenge Cornett, Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan said he would not.
Maughan said supporters had asked him to consider running.
“I will not challenge Mick Cornett,” Maughan said. “He's been a longtime friend.”
Ward 4 Councilman Pete White said he thought Shadid would make a good mayor, but “it's a little premature to make an endorsement of anyone at this point, because I think Mick's done a good job.”
Georgie Rasco, executive director of the Neighborhood Alliance, said Shadid “came out early and came out strong” in support of neighborhoods.
Despite initiatives such as new sidewalks aimed at improving quality of life, neighborhood leaders feel shortchanged in the building projects funded by the MAPS sales tax, she said.
“It still feels like a drop in the bucket compared to what we do for big business and downtown,” Rasco said.
Still, Rasco said, Cornett has been “an excellent mayor” and is seen as a neighborhood advocate. Choosing between Shadid and Cornett, she said, would be “a tough vote.”