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Oklahoma City's Mick Cornett wins fourth term as mayor

With all 235 precincts reporting, Cornett had 31,495 votes, or 65.7 percent, to 15,739, or 32.8 percent for Shadid. Two other candidates, Phil Hughes and Joe B. Sarge Nelson, drew a combined 1.5 percent.
by William Crum Published: March 4, 2014

Mick Cornett swept to victory Tuesday night, overwhelming a spirited challenge by Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid to become Oklahoma City’s first four-term mayor.

Cornett convinced voters that his stewardship of the Oklahoma City renaissance had positioned the city for a bright and prosperous future.

“This is, I think, a very important juncture in Oklahoma City’s history,” Cornett told the crowd at his election night party at the Grill on the Hill in Capitol Hill. “This city has a long, long way to go and we ain't done yet.”

With all 235 precincts reporting, Cornett had 31,495 votes, or 65.7 percent, to 15,739, or 32.8 percent for Shadid. Two other candidates, Phil Hughes and Joe B. Sarge Nelson, drew a combined 1.5 percent.

Speaking at his election night party at Farmers Public Market, Shadid said he was “at peace, because I have given the city of Oklahoma City everything I have — in this chapter, because we are just getting started.”

In his 10 years in the mayor’s suite at City Hall, Cornett has become known as ambassador and marketing director, as cheerleader and consensus-builder, as caretaker and persuader-in-chief.

Leveraging his skills from a career in local television news and sports, Cornett has shared Oklahoma City’s story of transformation — the renaissance that began with passage of the first MAPS initiative in 1993 — with audiences across the nation.

Voters speak

Kate Huston, 32, who voted for Cornett at The Rock Church in southwest Oklahoma City and had voted for him in the past, said the mayor “hasn’t done anything to disappoint.”

“I see the changes that are spreading out from the center of town,” she said. “When downtown benefits, the whole city benefits.”

Lavelle Carbajal, 38, who voted for Cornett at Wildewood Baptist Church in northeast Oklahoma City, said with the benefit of Cornett’s vision the city had set an example for how other communities can better themselves.

“Oklahoma City is about forward movement, about the future,” said Carbajal, a producer with TeamBreakerBox, which describes itself as a global “music+media” social empowerment team.

Carbajal singled out the arrival of the NBA’s Thunder basketball team and the burgeoning entertainment districts along Film Row and in Bricktown as evidence of the city’s success under Cornett.

Robyn Lemon Sellers, 56, attended Shadid’s election night party.

“The more diversity we have in the decision-making process, where we have a lot of different kinds of people coming together and sharing their ideas, I think that is the best way to have democracy,” she said.

“Everybody has a legitimate way of being heard. But it takes real leadership to do that. I feel like Ed Shadid is really genuine about wanting that kind of process to take place,” Sellers said. “Everybody here, win or lose, feels that we have won just because Ed decided to run and raise all these issues.”

Becky Benton, 51, a teacher who also voted for Cornett at The Rock Church on S Pennsylvania Avenue, said she thought it was “neat to see how the city has embraced its own success.”

“I think Mick has done a good job,” Benton said. She said she’s been working concessions at Thunder games to raise money to send her Southmoore High School children on a band trip. Cornett has stopped by to visit with the volunteers, she said.

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by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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