A race for mayor that's been shaping up for 10 months became official Wednesday when Mayor Mick Cornett filed for re-election and Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid filed to challenge him.
A third candidate, Phil Hughes, of northwest Oklahoma City, also filed a declaration of candidacy with the Oklahoma County Election Board. Filing continues through 5 p.m. Friday.
The post is nonpartisan and pays $24,000 per year. The mayor serves a four-year term.
Cornett arrived at the election board on N Lincoln Boulevard shortly after 8 a.m., joined by his campaign manager, state Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City. Shadid filed shortly after 4 p.m., accompanied by his three children and ex-wife, Dina Hammam.
Cornett said he planned a campaign centered on the strength of a 900-member neighborhood “steering committee.” With five weeks to go before votes are counted, Cornett's campaign announced plans for volunteer work days each Saturday until the March 4 election.
Shadid called for debates, saying Oklahoma City residents deserve “a thorough discussion of the issues facing all of our neighborhoods” before casting their ballots. Holt said by text message that the mayor was “still planning to look at that after filing.”
If he's re-elected, Cornett, 55, would become the city's first four-term mayor. Cornett was elected to a two-year term in 2004, and re-elected in 2006 and 2010.
Born in Oklahoma City, he is a graduate of Putnam City High School and the University of Oklahoma. Cornett had a career in local television sports and news before being elected to the city council in 2001. He has a video production business.
Shadid, 45, is a spinal surgeon serving his first term on the city council. Born and raised in Oklahoma City, he earned his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma.
Cornett's handwritten declaration of candidacy includes his full legal name — Michael Earl Cornett Sr. — and his address in Bricktown.
Shadid's declaration, also handwritten, includes his full legal name, Edward A. Shadid II, and his address in northwest Oklahoma City.
Each candidate marked with an ‘x' the box labeled ‘no' in response to questions about whether he has a criminal history. Cornett and Shadid each paid a $200 filing fee. The fee is refundable if they get at least 15 percent of the vote, said Doug Sanderson, election board secretary.
Shadid's plans to challenge Cornett emerged last March with a memo to potential campaign consultants. In the interim, previously sealed documents from his divorce detailed Hammam's statements about her then-husband's drug abuse.
Before the records were unsealed in response to a request from The Oklahoman, Shadid had acknowledged a past addiction to marijuana and said he'd been in recovery for nearly 10 years.
Hughes, 61, gave a website address for Hughes Synergies Corp., which appeared to advocate advanced freight and passenger rail designs and systems.
If no candidate gets a majority in the March 4 election, a runoff will be April 1.