Trying to earn a 4th term, Cornett will face perhaps his toughest challenge to date, and it comes in the form of Oklahoma City Ward 2 Councilman Dr. Ed Shadid. The race figures to be a close one, and OKC residents can expect to see significant campaigning by both.
Here is a look at the election, including short profiles on the candidates.
The VoteThe primary election will be held on Tuesday, March 4, 2014. If you are a registered city voter, you will go to your usual polling place printed on your registration card. If you are unsure of your polling location, you can use the online locator or contact the Oklahoma County Election Board at (405) 713-1515.
As of fall 2013, only Cornett and Shadid have announced their candidacy. If one candidate does not receive a simple majority in the March 4th election, the general election will be April 1, 2014.
- Mick Cornett: (See Candidate Website) - The incumbent, Cornett was elected Mayor in 2004 when Kirk Humphries resigned the position to run for U.S. Senate. At 45, he became the youngest Oklahoma City Mayor since 1959.
Cornett was born and raised in OKC and attended high school at Putnam City. He made a name for himself in the metro as a television reporter and anchor, both in news and sports. He was a metro television reporter and anchor, both in news and sports, for nearly 20 years before going into private business in 1999. A short time later, he was elected to the Oklahoma City Council, serving there for 3 years.
As Mayor, Cornett is credited by many as leading the campaign to bring the NBA to Oklahoma City. After a successful trial run with the New Orleans Hornets in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, fans are now wowed by the Thunder at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
In addition to an economy that stayed strong during tough times nationally, with Cornett at the helm the city has seen MAPS for Kids initiatives to improve schools, the push for a healthier city, significant business growth and the current MAPS 3 projects. These accomplishments helped him earn a World Mayor Award nomination in 2010.
- Dr. Ed Shadid: (See Candidate Website) - Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Edward Shadid has a degree in Political Science from Northwestern University in Chicago and attended medical school at the University of Oklahoma. He is a board-certified spinal surgeon with a practice in OKC called Spine Care of Oklahoma.
In 2011, Shadid was elected to the Oklahoma City Council for Ward 2 and has become a popular figure, in part due to hosting multiple town hall meetings for concerned citizens to have their voices heard. His primary areas of focus are "transparency, accountability and unprecedented levels of public collaboration," according to his campaign.
A key issue in the race, he says, is fiscal responsibility, and lack of it puts MAPS projects in danger. "I’m running for mayor because, although there have been some good things that have happened, there have been some fundamental mistakes made that will hurt out city and taxpayers and that cannot happen again," Shadid told supporters.
Other areas of concern for Shadid include adding more police officers and strengthening the city's bus system.
The PositionAccording to the city clerk's office, the Mayor of Oklahoma City earns $24,000 per year. Candidates for the position must be United States and Oklahoma citizens, registered voters and at least 21 years of age. Also, they must have been residents of Oklahoma City for at least 3 years prior to the election.
The city has a Council-Manager form of government. As noted by About.com Guide to Government Careers Michael Roberts, this means that while the mayor presides over council meetings, he/she has no more authority than other city council members.